23 January 2008
I took this snapshot of the TV screen during one of the Democratic debates. All this hoopla was up for the full two hours. It wasn't something that appeared for a second or two then disappeared. No, there were swiggly lines, scrolling text and flying graphics the entire time.
For starters, we've got the Fox News logo in the bottom left, constantly transforming into itself again and again and again. Then there's the scrolling text, which has nothing to do with the debate. It's just random news stories dominated by celebrity gossip. Super. The stock quotes stay put in the bottom right, switching between the Dow Jones and NASDAQ exchanges. Above the stock quotes is the spinning, swirling "You Decide 2008" logo that Fox has so "cleverly" come up with to define this year's election. Of course between the two logos we absolutely need a brief text explanation of what the candidate is talking about, since we have very little time or ability to pay attention to them, what with all the other crap on the screen.
Next, we have this ridiculous graph that's conceivably charting nothing, ranking the reaction of Fox's self-proclaimed "Liberals" and "Moderates," thought who knows who is actually driving the "returns" of those squiggly lines, ranked from a very scientific "thumbs down" to an even more intellectual "thumbs up." Just in case you weren't certain of how things were being rated, you can look at the ENORMOUS thumbs up and thumbs down images located directly in the middle of the screen that strangely resemble the Tivo buttons.
Finally, a solid day and a half later, you can finally focus in on the actual debate, which has kindly been allotted the top left quarter of the screen. Honestly, what is mass media doing to American politics? Is this what discourse has been reduced to? Celeb news, flying graphics and large cartoon thumbs? OH. MY. GOD.