You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Life of the Parties

Variety editorial

John Kerry and John Edwards emerged from last week’s Democratic National Convention energized and upbeat.

But the DNC’s dismal TV ratings underscored a persistent problem for both parties. Even in this hard-fought political season, the general public remains indifferent to the political process.

It prefers Yankees-Red Sox to Bush-Kerry; the Super Bowl and the Olympics to the DNC.

The networks and the politicians already have begun fundamentally rethinking their approach to electoral coverage.

Some media execs have suggested the political parties reduce their nominating conventions to two days instead of four. Democratic party officials privately concede it’s a worthy idea.

Then there’s an even bolder measure. Treat the event like the Super Bowl or the Olympics.

Don’t grant equal access to all of the news networks and cable news orgs. License broadcast rights to the convention to one network exclusively — preferably a network that can leverage the event across the broadest spectrum of media platforms.

Consider the saturation coverage NBC is planning for the Athens Olympics. The big events like swimming and gymnastics will be broadcast live on NBC. Men’s soccer, weightlifting and fencing will air on CNBC. Latin American soccer games will air on Telemundo. Badminton, table tennis and judo will air on Bravo.

Now imagine the possibilities for the Republican National Convention.

The big speeches could air on NBC. CNBC could handle the party coverage and protests and Telemundo the Latino caucus meetings.

And on Bravo, maybe “Queer Eye for the Straight Republican”?

That’s the kind of destination programming even swing voters in battleground states will be sure not to miss.

More Scene

  • Ken Ziffren and Claudia EllerVariety Power

    Attorney Ken Ziffren Offers Sobering Take on Film Business at Variety's Power of Law Breakfast

    John Kerry and John Edwards emerged from last week’s Democratic National Convention energized and upbeat. But the DNC’s dismal TV ratings underscored a persistent problem for both parties. Even in this hard-fought political season, the general public remains indifferent to the political process. It prefers Yankees-Red Sox to Bush-Kerry; the Super Bowl and the Olympics […]

  • Pamela Adlon Better Things

    Pamela Adlon: When 'Better Things' 'Stops Being Relatable Is When I Stop Doing My Show'

    John Kerry and John Edwards emerged from last week’s Democratic National Convention energized and upbeat. But the DNC’s dismal TV ratings underscored a persistent problem for both parties. Even in this hard-fought political season, the general public remains indifferent to the political process. It prefers Yankees-Red Sox to Bush-Kerry; the Super Bowl and the Olympics […]

  • The Future She Built

    Inventor of the Inclusion Rider Discusses Why the Initiative Is Necessary at Panel

    John Kerry and John Edwards emerged from last week’s Democratic National Convention energized and upbeat. But the DNC’s dismal TV ratings underscored a persistent problem for both parties. Even in this hard-fought political season, the general public remains indifferent to the political process. It prefers Yankees-Red Sox to Bush-Kerry; the Super Bowl and the Olympics […]

  • Diablo Cody, Charlize Theron and Jason

    'Tully's' Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody on Normalizing the Dark Side of Parenting

    John Kerry and John Edwards emerged from last week’s Democratic National Convention energized and upbeat. But the DNC’s dismal TV ratings underscored a persistent problem for both parties. Even in this hard-fought political season, the general public remains indifferent to the political process. It prefers Yankees-Red Sox to Bush-Kerry; the Super Bowl and the Olympics […]

  • Independent School Alliance Awards

    Charles King, Nina Shaw Toast Tim and Vicky Mara Story at Independent School Gala

    John Kerry and John Edwards emerged from last week’s Democratic National Convention energized and upbeat. But the DNC’s dismal TV ratings underscored a persistent problem for both parties. Even in this hard-fought political season, the general public remains indifferent to the political process. It prefers Yankees-Red Sox to Bush-Kerry; the Super Bowl and the Olympics […]

  • I Feel Pretty premiere

    ‘I Feel Pretty’ Directors Say They Were ‘Disappointed’ After Backlash From Trailer

    John Kerry and John Edwards emerged from last week’s Democratic National Convention energized and upbeat. But the DNC’s dismal TV ratings underscored a persistent problem for both parties. Even in this hard-fought political season, the general public remains indifferent to the political process. It prefers Yankees-Red Sox to Bush-Kerry; the Super Bowl and the Olympics […]

  • Levis Coachella brunch

    Coachella 2018: The Biggest Celebrity Appearances and Surprise Performances of Weekend 1

    John Kerry and John Edwards emerged from last week’s Democratic National Convention energized and upbeat. But the DNC’s dismal TV ratings underscored a persistent problem for both parties. Even in this hard-fought political season, the general public remains indifferent to the political process. It prefers Yankees-Red Sox to Bush-Kerry; the Super Bowl and the Olympics […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content