Public television couldn't stop slanting convention coverage
I am an equal opportunity political observer.
I watched or listened to both the Democrat and Republican national nominating conventions from gavel to gavel. Call me a masochist if you will, but truth today is a lot like tilling a vacant lot. You have to clear a lot of garbage and pull a lot of weeds before you can expect to see a turnip or a tomato.
If you followed the recent American political conventions, several things should be obvious. First, in spite of all the media posturing about the epic significance of 2020, mainstream convention coverage was AWOL. No matter. After the fact, commercial network "coverage" is all opinion and spin anyway.
The only honest or true, gavel-to-gavel, coverage appeared at C-SPAN, where all speakers spoke for themselves without interruption. C-SPAN, unlike PBS, has enough respect for voters to allow listeners and viewers to make their own judgments.
The other broadcast network that "claims" gavel-to-gavel coverage is public television. The contrast between PBS and C-SPAN is the perfect illustration of the difference between facts and political propaganda, real reporting and selective editing. Apparently, PBS doesn't believe that consumers can watch or listen without a WETA public television interpreter. With 2020, American public radio and television, like the BBC, has become a government-subsidized outlet for left-wing, if not extremist agitprop and disinformation.
PBS, however, is still a true non-profit. Surely there is little to profit viewers or voters looking for impartial coverage or fair commentary.
My quadrennial torture began with the Democrats in mid-August watching Judy Woodruff and the big fail at WETA and NewsHour.
Hot mess is the only fair assessment of WETA's virtual performance with team DNC. Not only did Woodruff shred and butcher convention speakers, but she seemed to be channeling Sleepy Joe.
Judy didn't seem to know where she was, what was on her screen, or who was at the convention dais. She was confused and flummoxed throughout, not knowing who had spoken or was about to speak, cutting in and out of presentations incoherently.
Absent production values, the supporting cast for Woodruff's PBS fiasco was all opinion, a gaggle of the usual suspects — mainly three feminist lieutenants and an editorial panel of effete Beltway castrati including Michael Beschloss.
As I watched the PBS circus mangle, interrupt, and try to spin the Democrat convention, I looked for another way, without cable, to see how the Republicans would fare.
My wife offered a genius solution: listen to C-SPAN, and watch a muted WETA/PBS public broadcast. The results were astounding.
PBS blacked out or talked over some of the most interesting and engaging Republican speakers. In one session, Woodruff overrode two prominent congresswomen and two distinguished veterans for 30 minutes of banal and biased commentary. Throughout, it was clear that WETA was going to limit, censor, or spin any Republican segments that might touch on inconvenient truths like abortion, Republican women, Trump Democrats, veterans, or Biden family shenanigans in Ukraine and China.
The arrogance of PBS's condescending and patronizing spin is a hallmark of "non-profits" feeding at the taxpayer trough. Alas, the price to be paid for overkill is blowback.
After one Republican session, I listened to the usual C-SPAN telephone post-show, which features Democrat, Republican, and independent call-in phone lines. The C-SPAN host took about 50 calls on all lines, and only one caller was vaguely critical of the Republicans or President Trump.
Trump support among C-SPAN callers that night was virtually unanimous.
Omens matter. With allies like PBS, Biden and Harris do not need enemies.
G. Murphy Donovan writes about the politics of national security.