Challenging Convention

Friday, August 22, 2008


This weekend, as an estimated 15,000 reporters head to Denver for the Democratic National Convention, Slate’s Jack Shafer asks, why? There hasn’t been a contested nomination since 1976, he argues, and news organizations’ resources would be best put to use elsewhere. Brooke puts his arguments to the test.

Comments [7] from Staten Island, NY

On last week's show your guest Jack Shafer complained about the excessive coverage of the party conventions with an estimated 15,000 reporters expected to converge on this week's Democratic Party Convention, an event during which no news will happen by design.
Fair enough, mostly. But the conventions still serve a purpose. It is good to have a political event that draws people in and gets them involved in politics. Without public involvement our political institutions lose what relevance they may have. These people only truly represent us if we are involved in the process.
Look, if our nation was facing a major crisis, and by that I mean an even more serious crisis than the present situation in Iraq, and in the credit markets - I mean something on the order of the Revolutionary War - then we would all rally round strong leaders. Fortunately things aren’t that bad. So, a party in Denver will have to do for this week. And since no one party can represent us all in a democracy, the Republicans will get their turn soon.
As a news even it may be as phony as the Loch Ness Monster but it is still worth our attention.
Michael Roth

Aug. 27 2008 11:42 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Ah, the missing phrase: we missed it!

I may have Green leanings, but Mom & Dad met at a Young Democrats party in '37.

Aug. 26 2008 04:27 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

On Law & Order; CI, last night, a character provides the classic Holmesian query, “Who profits from the murders, Bobby?” That should be pretty clear by now, America.

Besides, with Clintons and friends acting like spoiled kids, there really still is a contest, of sorts, going on for the fate of the world.

Aug. 26 2008 04:18 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I made the mistake of trusting Charlie Gibson when he indicated Ted Kennedy would speak near ten o’clock. Since my 92-year old Mom and I then tuned to PBS for our coverage after watching other programming until 10, so as not to overtax her with politics. Had we known more accurately, she would have happily endured the speeches. They do help inspire.

Instead, we were bitterly disappointed.

Some pundit on Charlie Rose, tonight, said Obama needs to allow voters to face their fears about him and lead them to hope. I tend to agree.

He should say that he will not allow his administration to be subverted or sabotaged, as Jimmy Carter’s Presidency was. He will not allow his family to be harmed and his administration to be scandalized into powerlessness as Bill Clinton’s was. Most of all, he will do all that is possible to prevent himself from being murdered, as the Kennedys were but, even should that occur, he has chosen a running mate who shares his vision and will carry the banner of a greater society even more enthusiastically and just as ably and honorably as Lyndon Johnson.

I did not much care for Johnson, at the time, but there is much in his record in that office to admire and emulate. The war wasn’t one.

Aug. 26 2008 04:17 AM
Kerry from Austin

3rd, Macy’s parade comparison? Sports Journalist to cover the most important conventions in over 50 years instead of seasoned Political journalist? Can I get what he's smoking? Trying to find work for journalist coming home from China? Let them do the local news.
4th, a short week for the parties to gather together for the first time as a whole and put out their platform agenda for energy options and economic solutions of how they are going to attack the largest economic and fascist created crisis in world history, the current United States. Like #1, an interested and energized public is not good for corporate America or the Republican Party.
Jack, send me your “connect.” I got to party with you.

Aug. 24 2008 10:44 PM
Kerry from Austin

1st, Jack quotes Forbes Magazine about the attendance of the media at the Dem Convention. I got the information from the Dem. Convention website. It's no secret. Steve Forbes is a contributor to the Republican Party and McCain. McCain's campaign staff IS the "A" list of Corporate and international dictatorship lobbyist in Washington DC. At Least 133 lobbyists running his campaign & raising money for him.
Not sure Jack’s affiliation, but the American people need to see and become involved in this process. Down playing that importance of it benefits the Republican status quo that’s falling apart. Corporate America is being represented by McCain, I am sure we will see Corporate America working real hard to do anything they can to appease the masses or turn down interest/importance in this election. Free gas and cars at cost, don’t forget repaving your drive way.
2nd, this is the biggest election in the World in history. So we are talking International Press interest. Is that considered in Jack's 600 press attendance numbers he suggests? I catered the CNN UT/Austin Dem. Debate Pres corps, 800 journalists attended.

Aug. 24 2008 10:43 PM
Robert from NYC

Yeah Brooke, Why? It IS a waste of money and frankly I don't watch at all. I have absolutely NO interest in it and it has become a gross waste of time and money. Of course there are the fanatics, like the media, and every single channel willl be saying just about the same things over and over and over and over again and what they will be saying is absolutely noting but conjecture from people (talking heads) who have no real skills or professions and so they do that! It stinks and that you even took the time to play devil's advocate in this piece is shameful. Shame on you Brooke. LOL

Aug. 24 2008 10:10 AM

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