Idol Chatter

obama.jpgWow, talk about reality TV!
Earlier this week, President Obama was on every network. He was Must See TV 2.0, the Rock Star of the campaign trail, the Teleprompter-in-Chief, “No Drama Obama” who is no longer running for office. He is now The Man charged with solving our nation’s problems, which were named Tuesday evening as the Economy, Education, Energy, and the Deficit. Except for the fact he blew the alliteration points with the last one, his speech was largely heralded in the press.
And now, reality sets in, and this will be the greatest reality show of our lifetime. CNN’s David Gergen described it as “one of the greatest political dramas of our time.” I think it will be one of the greatest dramas, period. I mean, what’s more interesting to you: if we’ll make it as a nation–or if we can pay our bills by summertime–or who will win on “American Idol” or “Top Chef”?

Usually, after a long and dramatic political campaign (and we just had the longest and most dramatic!) the news channels lose ratings points while sitcoms and dramas dominate. I think this year may be different.
I’ll be curious to see how CNN, Fox News, CNBC, and the network newsmagazines do in the weekly television ratings. For that matter, I wonder if Brian Williams, Charles Gibson, and even Katie Couric return to favor as the evening choice of viewers. Perhaps “60 Minutes” will regain its status as a staple.
Further, there is a new set of storylines emerging–one in which the media is treating itself as the news by commenting and critiquing itself and its various members. One prime example showed up in Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times, where columnist James Rainey ridiculed radio station KFI’s “John and Ken Show” for its perspective on these political matters. If our national economic woes aren’t enough of an issue, I guess now we get to read and watch those in the media going after each other.
In the end, I have hope. As great as it was to elect our first African-American President–and as much as we heard about “hope” and “change”–the real drama starts now. Can we have hope? Will we have change? If so, how will it happen? If not, what then? Ah, the drama!
Or, I guess, I could go bury my head in the sand, watch some fake reality TV, or tune in “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” The stakes are smaller.
Jeopardy! at

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus