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Hearings In A Television Age

Back in the stride of writing his daily column, Howard Kurtz today looks at the shear boring-ness of yesterday John Roberts confirmation hearings–and how he would have played it if he was a cable network executive:

“Senators bloviating for the cameras for more than three hours while the likely next chief justice sits there uncomfortably isn’t news. Senators cross-examining the judge is news. I’m usually a fan of cable television covering the events rather than engaging in punditry, but only when the event is real, not prepackaged and warmed-over rhetoric.

“The speechifying started at noon, and at 12:45 CNN was the first to break away to Wolf Blitzer, Jeff Greenfield, Jeff Toobin and none other than John Ashcroft. Fox bailed at 1:03, with Chris Wallace and Brit Hume, and MSNBC around the same time, with Brian Williams and Tim Russert. Within moments, Fox and MSNBC were showing Bush in New Orleans, chiding the press for playing the ‘blame game.’”

He concludes that the Senate needs to change its procedures to adapt to the age of hearings in the television age….

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