Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 26, 2004
POLITICS: You're So Conventional

Drezner quotes Andrew Sullivan knocking the conventions:

For my part, I think bloggers could make more of a statement by not going to these elaborate infomercials. All they are are schmooze-fests for journalists, pundits and political types and then many layers of corrupting parties for donors. The only political importance is as television shows, and you can better understand that by, er, watching television.

A major cliche award should go to anybody who carps about the fact that conventions are contrived for TV. The whole point of the modern political convention is to allow a once-every-four-years opportunity for each of our two major political parties to speak directly to the public - without much in the way of media filtering - about their agenda and vision for the nation. The parties make some delberate choices about the face they choose to show to the public, and those choices, as in the 1992 GOP convention or Al Gore's 2000 speech, can be significant. And there are still the genuine human moments that crop up in any live TV event, no matter how stage-managed, like the electricity generated by the Ted Kennedy 1980 and Reagan 1976 not-entirely-a-concession speeches.

So count me as a dissenter against the cynics. Yes, conventions are scripted for TV. But that's precisely why they matter.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:25 PM | Politics 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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