To say I have a problem with the mainstream TV media’s coverage of the presidential primaries would be a vast understatement. However, since they’re intent on turning politics into a combination horserace/infotainment show, they can at least go whole-hog with the concept – yes, pun very much intended.
Primary season could begin with the candidates from both parties battling it out on Jeopardy! – at least we’d get a glimpse of who knows what, especially with tailored-to-the-task categories like The Economy, The National Debt, Job Outsourcing, and National Security.
It’s bound to keep the voters enthralled. Who doesn’t want to hear McCain choose “Iraq” and have to answer with, “What is a money-sucking quagmire?” if he wants to stay in the game, or watch the hilarity as Huckabee says, “I’ll take Separation of Church & State for a thousand, Alex.”
The popular American Idol format would work well as-is, except the competition would focus on speechmaking rather than singing. Bonus: no need to replace the judges. I’ve no doubt that Simon, Paula and Randy know as much about politics as, say, Wolf, Candy and Russert. While it may seem laughable that candidates be judged on their speechifying’, let’s remember that one G.W. Bush never would have made it past the audition stage. You can almost hear Cowell’s disgust as he states, in his clipped accent, ”That was truly dreadful. Let’s be honest here, George, it is blatantly obvious that you cannot speak English.”
TVs across American would be tuned-in for an entire season of Survivor – Middle-Class America, where contestant candidates are plunked down into a small American town and, stripped of any access to their personal wealth, have to survive by finding a job and an affordable place to live, while facing choices between food and heating oil, or enough gas to get to work and an emergency trip to the dentist. Job outsourced after one week? Bankrupted by a medical emergency? Welcome to Middle-Class America – too bad you didn’t survive!
Of course, there’s always the probability that the GOP candidates could “up” their ratings by appearing on more than one show in a primary season. No doubt Giuliani would wow ‘em on Cheaters, followed by an episode of Cops where he stands in the driveway, shirtless and clutching a can of beer, screaming as the boys-in-blue ‘cuff his best buddy Kerik, and cart him off to the hoosegow.
Cameo appearances on popular drama shows could also boost ratings and score political points, e.g. Fred Thompson portraying a catatonic patient on ER, or Alan Keyes playing a presidential candidate who went missing months ago without anyone noticing on Without a Trace.
And who wouldn’t watch a special reprise episode of Seinfeld featuring Mitt Romney as Elaine's newest love interest who’s got Mr. Peterman selling his combination puffy shirt/magic underwear?
The side-slapping, roll-on-the-floor-laughing possibilities are truly endless, and would undoubtedly have the viewing/voting public not only interested, but mesmerized - and therein lies the problem.
So don't forget to tune-in. You don't want to miss a minute of the hilarious hijinks as the country chooses its next president - one who could make-or-break democracy as we once knew it. And if the entire country goes down in flames, there's always the hope that next season will offer better viewing fare.
Posted in full with author's permission.
Originally posted at democraticunderground.com: http://journals.democraticunderground.com/NanceGreggs/336