Thursday, June 21, 2007

Campaign Musings: Independent BCS School Division

It's easy to find people excited about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg possibly running for president. All of them are on cable television news shows. Turn off your TV and go outside, you won't find a one.

Promoting them to cable TV commentator is how news-gathering organizations humanely kick their silliest political reporters upstairs. Here's a good rule of thumb. When a pundit describes him or herself as a "political junkie," they really mean "I'm a shallow, not too bright, piss poor excuse for a real reporter." People who really love politics are, well, you know, IN politics.

The commentariat's frenzy over Bloomberg, however, is inextricably linked to economics-their own. As you may know, cable TV news gets miserable ratings down around the NHL playoff level. This hurts the advertising revenues that support the on-air personalities' inflated salaries. This is, understandably, of far more importance to them then trade legislation or even the Iowa caucuses.

One group of advertisers, however, spend a good deal of money on cable news programming no matter what the ratings. That would be presidential candidates, who assume that the viewers of these shows are going to vote come what may. It's just my personal opinion that they also think those viewers have proved they're easy to fool.

The two party nominees in 2008 will spend at least $500 million apiece, most of it on TV commercials. There's the beauty of a Bloomberg candidacy. Bloomberg's a billionaire who could spend just as much without so much as sweating on his checkbook. That translates to a 50 percent increase in revenues for these very marginal television programs. Somebody like Chris Matthews or Wolf Blitzer would be insane not to want Bloomberg to run.

The Mayor, of course, would be insane TO run. Billionaires don't get that way by pouring money down the toilet just to hear the flush. The iron rule of American third party candidates remains in force. They're very popular every day of the year but one. The Tuesday after the first Monday in November, nobody likes them. The Wednesday after, nobody remembers them.


Post a Comment

<< Home