"Live Bloggers" On Channel 12: Technologically Advanced [and Totally Ridiculous]

By Ray Stern

How much thought should I put into this blog? Should I publish every newly formed or silly thought rattling around in my brain?

If I did, I'd be approaching the experiment of "live blogging" that's been gracing a dim corner of the Arizona Republic/Channel 12 (KPNX) news Web site.

While in the studio and on hand for quick video fodder, the local pundits pictured above offered the blogosphere their innermost flashes of hastily formed opinions. A few hours later, the stuff is good only for insight into the minds of the writers -- and a few cheap laughs at their expense.

This is the opener to a 7:47 p.m. post of blogger Slim Smith, the drunk-driving columnist fired last year by the East Valley Tribune:

McCain has flashback, straffs [sic] lady in pink dress

OK. I made that up.

The major criticism of national media pundits in regard to the Republicans - aside from the unpleasant fact that they are Republicans - is that this year's convention hasn't focused on issues.

Smith posts his overall impression at 8:08 p.m., just after McCain ends his speech:

Serviceable if not flashy.

Here's what Shane Wikfors of www.sonoranalliance.com published a few minutes later:

John McCain's speech was fairly majestice [sic] and reminiscent.

The first impressions of McCain's speech by Republic State Capitol reporter Matthew Benson aren't a whole lot more insightful:

This was a somber, serious address. Grown-up time. Not so much of the red-meat sort of attacks we saw earlier this week (I'm talking to you, Rudy Giuliani). Less of the mocking, snarky tone (that's you, Gov. Palin).

Besides transcribing some of McCain's speech [in case the TTD went out for deaf viewers?], Benson's biggest overall concern in his on-the-fly convention blogs seems to be that of the "strange backdrops."

Donna Gratehouse, described as an Ahwatukee resident and Democratic activist, offers this pearl of wisdom on the racial factor in politics:

[McCain] fell in love with his country when he was held prisoner in another. I guess white Republicans can get away with not being in love with America from the time they emerge from the womb, in a way that non-white Democrats (like Michelle Obama) cannot.

Even the blog entries by Greg Patterson, author of a worthwhile political blog called www.espressopundit.com, are horribly banal:

We are up and running. Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 07:02 PM

My gosh, 96. Anyone who is worried about McCain's age needs to take a gander at his mon [sic]. Wow. She looks she could run a 10 k. Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 07:21 PM

Now I'm sorry I mocked the columns... What's up with the blue screen background. As much as we've been mocking the Styrofoam columns, the blue screen sucks. Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 07:37 PM

In fairness, Patterson did have one nice catch:

Descendents on the Mayflower? Dude, I think it's "Ancestors" on the Mayflower. McCain isn't Obama...or even Palin. But hey, he's right on the issues. And it's not like W can give a speech either. Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 07:40 PM

Semi-clever posts like that one do little more than prove an old adage, "If you throw enough shit on the wall, some will stick."

Trouble is, the Internet is one mighty big, sticky wall.

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