Drama Attracts Viewers

Thursday, October 16, 2008

That's really the only way I can explain CNN after the debate was over. I wasn't particularly wowed by anything Obama said, but I felt like he had again won. McCain just looked angrier and angrier as the night went on while Obama just seems to get calmer and calmer and more in control. There is no doubt that people are going to have a field day making videos of McCain's facial expressions. He tried hard initially not to make faces, but as the night went on he just couldn't control his reactions.

And I think that was the story of the night. While McCain started out OK, I thought he really derailed as things went on especially after the talks about negative campaigning. He tried to actually garner sympathy on the negativity issue and it just didn't go over. He threw a ton of jabs but, as usual, none of them really ever seemed to phase Obama. And Joe the Plumber just became more and more of an obvious gimmick every time he brought him up.

To be quite honest, I am surprised at how poorly McCain did in all the debates. He just never seemed to be comfortable and that is really pretty stunning considering how long he has been in the game.

However, if you listened to CNN after the debate you would have had the clear impression that McCain won the thing. I honestly had to take a step back and wonder if I wasn't just drinking the Obama Kool-Aid. Several panelists raved about McCain's great performance and how he came out strong. Their praise seemed like a bit much. Yeah, he was a bit better, but still far from where he needed to be. Yet, they really seemed to be spinning the thing like McCain had done something remarkable.

Well, thank the Lord for all those wonderful polls. The people spoke up once again and closed the lid on any talk of a McCain resurgence. Try as they might, there was no spinning the poll numbers. Even the Fox News panel gave the night to Obama. Natually, John King of CNN went on about how he didn't trust the polls. Unfortunately for him, the instant poll numbers always hold up even a few days after the debates.

So why the spin?

Well, this thing is actually doing the opposite of what most people thought. Honestly, I did not imagine that Obama would be running away with it. Obviously, neither did CNN or the other news networks. With Obama opening up huge leads in so many states, the election is becoming more of a foregone conclusion. I'm not one to call victory yet, but I am getting pretty excited. The news networks are getting disappointed.

Drama is what gets people watching the news. The more of a lock this is for Obama, the less people are interested in the opinion of the "Best news team on television." As a result, we will get a lot of attempts to keep the suspense going despite the obvious. The real Drama Kings are going to do everything they can to keep the suspense turned all the way until the final moments.