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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 4, 2012/ 17 Elul, 5772

Privileges and responsibilities

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |

My first political convention was in 1964 when Democrats convened in Atlantic City to nominate Lyndon Johnson for a full term as president. I was a young copyboy at the NBC News network bureau in Washington. We arrived from Washington aboard a chartered DC-3 plane that also carried the late anchor/reporter Frank McGee and his wife.

Emotions were still raw from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy only nine months before. A floor battle over the seating of the delegation from Mississippi added to the drama and public interest. The "Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party," which was integrated, demanded to replace the all-white elected delegates on the grounds that blacks had been excluded from voting in the Mississippi primaries. A compromise was reached and that convention marked the last time Democrats would accept segregated delegations.

In 1964, the TV networks considered the process of nominating a presidential candidate so important to the country that all three carried the proceedings virtually "gavel to gavel." NBC's anchors were Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. In addition to providing solid reporting with equally solid floor reporters, these two giants of broadcast journalism reported on the silly and bizarre happenings inside and outside the vast coliseum where the "Miss America" contest was then held.

In 1964, even the platform committee hearings of both parties were covered, sometimes live.

I mention all of this to note how little of this year's conventions are being covered by the broadcast networks. Their arguments are familiar: The conventions have become scripted events that serve as infomercials for the two parties and they rarely make news; anyone interested in watching the conventions for longer periods than the one-hour of primetime the broadcast networks give them can watch cable; real political junkies can switch to C-SPAN where they can watch these political telethons until the final gavel falls.



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There is even talk at receptions where media types talk amongst themselves about doing away with these three-day political extravaganzas -- or at least shortening them to a day and a night to attract more viewers. Saving money and time is also a consideration. It's a good idea and the old convention model will almost surely be put to rest after this year.

Whether the restructuring happens in 2016, or later, by deciding to broadcast so little of the conventions this year, the networks send the message to the public that the gatherings are unimportant. While Hurricane Isaac diverted much of the coverage from the Republican National Convention, the damage done, or benefits achieved, by the winner of the next election will last longer than the storm and affect more than the Gulf Coast.

Few enough people are engaged in the political process. Cynicism deepens when TV networks join the ranks of the cynics and send a message that since so many Americans don't care about politics, the broadcast networks don't either and so let's give the people what they want: more crime and slime. The political ads will play and replay at the commercial breaks, but the ads are fast food compared to live political TV.

There have been many suggestions for how to improve the drama and interest of these quadrennial affairs. Since television and the political process are joined at the hip, broadcasters, especially, have a responsibility to help make them more compelling. If NBC, for example, can spend millions to cover the Olympics, blocking off hours of primetime for track and field and swimming events, is it too much to ask all the networks to devote time to something far more important to every American and the world?

Broadcasters use public airwaves and make a lot of money from them. Because of that and because networks are run by Americans, they have a duty to perform in the public interest. Carrying just one hour of each convention is a dereliction of that duty.


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JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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