Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Discovering C-SPAN


In my imperfect world, I have a few vices. One is politics and the other is the news. I love all thing news, at least what I grew up knowing was the news. In my little rural community, the news came on three channels: Channel 2, Channel 12, and Channel 8. Channel 8 was the public access channel and signed off at midnight to the tune of the national anthem. My grandfather, "Daddy", said once that he loved hearing the national anthem played as the news was signing off at night because it reminded him that free speech has a price.

As simple as those days were to me, I long for them now in the age of endless channels with over paid pundits giving me their view of my news. I have been watching the DNC coverage. First, it is historical no matter how you vote behind the curtain. Second, I was spoon feed politics at my grandfather's table. Politics were discussed inside and out all the time. He encouraged us to think for ourselves and made sure we had all of the facts prior to giving an opinion. This started as soon as I learned to walk I am sure, because I remember nothing else.

While trying to watch the convention coverage this week, I could not help but scream at a few talking heads in Daddy's voice..."HUSH! I can't hear". I could not listen to a speaker without the pundits cutting in and giving one crazy remark after another.

I started flipping channels and found C-SPAN had no talking heads. I hit myself on the head as if I forgot to drink my V8. Wow, what have I been missing! Tuesday, I watched the entire convention without the pundits. Pundits? You know, the ones who campaigned for one or more candidates for the last two years, spewing hate and stirring the pot as they are delivering commentary. Folks, I do not want commentary, I want the news. The kind of news that has journalism woven into it feeds.

The RNC will be next week. Every channel at my home will be stuck on C-SPAN. I threw away the remotes. There will be no need for me to flip channels. My grandfather was right, freedom of speech can cost you.

Now, where is my check book? I need to make sure C-SPAN stays on the air.

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