Does Television Really Need to Cover Two Responses To the State Of The Union?
Traditionally, the party not holding the presidency selects a rising star to respond to the State Of The Union. As an answer to something that the writers haven’t read invariably strikes a false note and often ends up being considered a failure—most notably when Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s response to Barack Obama’s first State Of The Union was compared, unfavorably, to Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock.
However, it is free television time for the party out of power, which always seeks out rising stars to deliver it. This year, the Republican Party has selected Marco Rubio, the Florida senator and possible 2016 presidential contender, to respond on its behalf. So he’ll get all the remaining media attention, right?
Well, maybe not. He’s not delivering the only response.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will also be in the picture, delivering the Tea Party response to the State Of The Union. Paul’s speech will be the third such Tea Party response, following Michele Bachmann in 2011 and Herman Cain in 2012. While both Bachmann and Cain could be considered political novelty acts, Paul, like Rubio, is already considered a contender for 2016 and a political heavyweight. Both responses will require real and significant coverage but, considering Rubio’s Tea Party roots, it’s unlikely that they will vary much in content.
The media need to start exercising better control over State Of The Union responses and how much attention will be paid. The presidential address is a constitutionally mandated message and the traditional response is more of a courtesy by the broadcast networks than a duty. After all, in theory, the State Of The Union is no more political than the inauguration, they are both required by the Constitution.
The problem is that as networks give multiple responses extra billing, it increases the incentives for people to chime with more responses. After all, if Tea Party Republicans can get their response, why not moderate Republicans or socially conservative Republicans and on and on? And this isn’t a partisan issue, one shudders to think at the number of responses that various elected officials from the Democratic Party in the 1980s would want to give.
Broadcast networks and other news outlets should do their best to restrain this trend. It doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t cover non-official responses, they just shouldn’t give them free air time. It’s not as if most political speeches get broadcast live. Dissenters from their party’s official response will still have plenty of opportunities to get their views out, just not in full on live television.
Share this article
You might also like:
Is the social blogging site Tumblr about to sell out?
Ad Week’s Mike Shields has the story that Tumblr has been having negotiations about being acquired by Yahoo.
As Shields reports, a deal could make sense for both companies:
“Yahoo is in serious talks with Tumblr to acquire the social blogging site, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. The deal is not done, but could reach as high as $1 billion, Adweek has learned. Allthingsd.com was first to report on the talks between the two companies.”
I’m a criminal for being a woman, a journalist and someone with the temerity to walk into a bar.
In a fascinating study of both Facebook and freedom, Amnesty International New Zealand launched “Trial by Facebook,” which examines your profile, scours your timeline and “interrogates” yourfriends to find out what you’d be punished for posting, all around the
world. The app came out several months ago, but it’s been making waves
online this week.
Using my own Facebook page as a guinea pig, I found myself convicted 161 times, in 73 countries, for 13 crimes. Literally dodging a bullet, the
contents of my profiles weren’t tawdry enough to get me beheaded or shot dead, but I would be killed by extremists 22 times, sexually assaulted 16 times, imprisoned 58 times and beaten 73 times–and that’s just the beginning of the terror.
Tatiana Aders of Social Media News has made my day. If you don’t quite get how to use Google Plus, help is here:
“Google Plus has some of the most robust posting & sharing capabilities of any social network. From rich snippets to photo editing to individual circles, there are so many features that can make your post stand out from the pack. Here are some highlights from a cheat sheet that I built to get the most out of Google Plus posts.”
Attention ladies of the night and other interested parties: LinkedIn is taking a harder stance against prostitution.
As Mashable noted this week, the job-networking site has altered the language of its user agreement to expressly prohibit people from promoting escort services or prostitution on its pages.
Amy should have stuck to baking.
The owners of Amy’s Baking Co. suffered what can only be described as an online meltdown after being pummeled on social media sites. And we’re normally sympathetic to anyone who gets beaten up by the mob.
But Amy and Samy Bouglazo poured kerosene on the digital fire.