The State of the Union: Just Another Reality Show
by Charles Goyette
It looks just like a reality show that’s not going to be renewed for another season. President Obama’s State of the Union ratings are headed in the same direction as American Idol’s so far this season – down.
Let me make a secret confession right here. For years, the producer of my radio talk show and I would draw straws each January to see who would “have the high privilege and distinct honor” of watching the president’s State of the Union address.
Do I have to clarify that the loser had to watch?
In case the president said something important – which almost never happened – I felt an obligation to play some audio clips and talk about it on the show the next morning. But, personally, watching Republican and Democrat presidents recite their laundry list of promised giveaways for the year ahead was more than I could bear.
I learned early on that I could avoid all of the ovations and applause, save time, and still capture what substance there might have been in a written paragraph or two. Soon, I’ll give you such a written account, a perennial synopsis that will allow you to watch something else – like American Idol – and still have a handle on what the president says.
And you might even have time left over to keep an eye on the real news.
While We Were Watching…