As much as I enjoy political commentary and the Meet The Press theme song, each weekend viewing grinds away my appetite for what is supposed to be the foremost television programs on politics. The staid structure, revolving door of guests, pre-scripted conversations, and cheap plays for “color” have nearly driven me to cutting the cord on them.
Thankfully, working at The Huffington Post introduced me to the work of our political reporter Jason Linkins. One of Jason’s duties is to watch the Sunday political shows, yeoman’s work indeed, and to report on the notable discussions or occurrences. A recent introduction to his column:
Good morning, everyone. Here is an idea I had: I thought I would wake up, watch the Sunday morning blather shows, type stuff as I watched them, put the stuff that I typed on the internet, do this until these shows were over, and then never ever do this ever again. Sound good to everyone? Actually, many of you are probably looking forward to this — the last time I liveblog the Sunday shows. My name is Jason.
Linkins does more than summarize: he distills and refines. He calls out inaccuracies, points to redudancies, provides context not given in the show, and question why the shows select the topics and guests they do.
Today, Sunday shows were all about Chris Christie’s bridge controversy. An important story indeed, but it would be hard to argue the remaining segments were pressing or of public importance. Linkins points out that not discussed was the chemical spill in West Virginia that has left 300,000 people without safe drinking water on the fourth day of the crisis.
As I watch the Sunday shows online or via podcast, I use up Internet juice to do so. It also taxes about 45 minutes of my attention. So now, Linkins column is where I go to first to find out whether any of the Sunday shows are worth the effort. There is yet reason to suspect that the Sunday shows may take a hint and retool their programs.