What’s the Rush? It Was Too Short

September 6, 2012

I don’t care that Bill Clinton spoke into overtime.

The usual whine goes up from the media mites that President Clinton actually took some 45 whole minutes to deliver his important speech on Barack Obama’s virtues. Big deal.

Beyond even the maddening dedication to reflexively finding fault with absolutely everything, (“That Sermon on the Mount was waaay tooooo long!” And, “Eight Commandments would be better.”) the cranky commentators never quite got around to asking any of the thousands of delegates in the speech’s earshot or the millions beyond at home what they thought. Do you think they’d have found five people in that hall who objected to Clinton’s going on so “long” in such brilliant fashion? Of course not. So no one was asked.

Of course those muggs of the press and the yakkers of TV see the clock differently than do mere mortals. If the speech had been at 8 p.m. here instead of 10:30 even the chronic bemoaners would likely have given the stopwatch a pass. But it’s getting late for them that the former President is still delivering his excellent talk after 10 p.m. Eastern.

We see this in baseball games, too. Press guys working on deadline are forever squawking away about how long the games are these days, how they run on so late! Games are actually less than 10 minutes longer than they used to be but because there’s a huge difference to a deadline-whipped scribbler in getting the game in early rather than a dozen minutes after, the howl goes up that the great sport is being watered down by frivolities and lack of discipline. Tsk, tsk, tsk. But I go to a lot baseball games and have not ever, not once, heard an actual fan — the guy who pays to go there instead of the scribblers who get paid to go there – object to the extra 600 seconds. In fact, after dedicating a fortune to the tickets, parking, food and souvenirs, I don’t want some two-hour baseball speed date. Stretch it out, what’s the rush?

Mr. Clinton delivered a magisterial address on the major development of the season: The record, essence and prospects of the president of the United States and the hate-addled oppostion that would destroy him. Apparently, he should have done this in some slap-dash fashion, an Evelyn Wood Speed Speech spewed out in auctioneer cadence.

Baloney. No one but the media complains. No one.

 


1 Comment


  1. The “Sunday Morning Gasbags (Calvin Trillin) or “yakkers” as you call them had to fill three nights with idle comment. Clinton cut into their time.

    I found PBS and C-Span a much better way to take in the conventions.

What do you think?