Sunday, August 20, 2000

Convention gives new meaning to 'talk TV'




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        I watched the Democratic Convention on TV last week. Here is what I learned:

        People with nothing to say talk too much. The world would be a better place if they just. . . stopped. Free speech is a hazard of a democratic society. If we're lucky, we'll survive free speech until the election is over. Until then, good luck and godspeed.

        Media people are the worst. Give them a vowel, they'll take a dictionary. Words fly like canaries from their mouths. Listening to George Stephanopoulos is like watching a migration of geese.

        He is a human filibuster of vast nothing-ness. George is the last man I see at night and the first man I see in the morning. He must do jaw-robics. If I see him one more time, I'm claiming him as a dependent.

        What's worse: Being stuck on an island with Rudy and Susan? Or in front of a TV with Peter and Cokie? Things don't go better with Cokie.

        (I realize a case could be made for me to take my own advice. Be gentle, reader, and appreciate the irony.)

        How 'bout that Peter Jennings? When the camera showed the president walking down a barren hall toward the podium Monday night, Jennings said, “He has a rather strange look about him.”

        Jennings was referring, I think, to the high-definition TV image, which made Clinton look very tall and thin and elastic, like Gumby. Or maybe Clinton was just fasting for Lent.

        “If you were (watching) in Japan,” Jennings added, “you'd see this in an infinitely more dramatic way.”

        Why would you be watching in Japan? What would Clinton look like there? Godzilla?

        Of the Monday night riot, Jennings said, “It didn't last long. It was fairly bloody.”

        Fairly bloody? Compared to what? The Spanish Inquisition? Gettysburg? Pulp Fiction? To save you the trouble, I've distilled the essence of the void that was talked about all last week. Here goes nothing:

        These are the party faithful.

        They're looking for ways to come together.

        Gore is in trouble on the right. Or is it the left?

        His big problem is Catholics, seniors and white men. Other than that 75 percent of the population, he's in great shape.

        The swing voters are undecided.

        The Democrats want to include me. Did they ask?

        They are the party of Barbra Streisand.

        And also of Cher, who told Larry King, “Politics is hard for me because I believe in truth so much.”

        Perhaps King should have asked her about cosmetic surgery.

        Joseph Lieberman has principles.

        Al Gore is invisible. Even when he's not.

        Listening to Bill Bradley is like counting sheep.

        My god, Sam! Your hair is sliding!

        The networks had lots of people “on the floor” where, with any luck, they would remain.

        Monday night was “to energize the base,” Cokie said. Tuesday was for the “liberal wing of the party,” said someone else wearing one of those walkie-talkies that made him look like Uncle Martin on My Favorite Martian.

        I don't know what Wednesday was for, or Thursday. Something, probably.

        Otherwise, what would we talk about?
Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty welcomes your comments at (513) 768-8454.