Will the balloons drop on time?

By Tim Grieve
Published August 26, 2004 11:05PM (EDT)

When they could be bothered to cover the Democratic Convention at all, the broadcast and cable networks frequently sounded like they were reading from the Republican talking points. Anchors and reporters -- not pundits, but anchors and reporters -- called Kerry a "Massachusetts liberal," asked whether Teresa Heinz Kerry exhibited "the kind of behavior we want to see from a first lady," and insisted that Al Gore was still "bitter" about 2000.

Just before Gore spoke in Boston, Fox's Chris Wallace passed along the word -- he didn't say from whom -- that the former vice president would be "sedate or even sedated."

How will the media cover the Republicans? Will they let the GOP get all misty-eyed about Sept. 11 without mentioning the Aug. 6 Presidential Daily Brief, "My Pet Goat" or Bush's slow action on the 9/11 commission report? Will they put Terry McAuliffe on to rebut Republican speeches as often as they allowed Ed Gillespie to spout off about the Democrats? Will they spend as much time talking with some of the more outrageous elements of the Republican Party -- say, Alan "abortion and terrorism are the same evil" Keyes -- as they did on Michael Moore?

And the question on inquiring minds everywhere: Will they devote the first several minutes of airtime after Bush's acceptance speech to in-depth, profanity-filled analysis of the balloon drop?

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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