…But today’s advance coverage of CNN’s YouTube debate hasn’t just jumped the shark – it passed that marker an hour ago – it’s gone all-out “Buckwheat is Shot”
A bit of background, there was a skit on “Saturday Night Live” back in the 1980s satirizing the media’s overkill following the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. In the skit, they had Eddie Murphy’s Buckwheat get shot, with the point of the skit being that the media was so enthralled by the footage, that they’d look for any attempt to replay it – going so far as to ask the doctor operating on Buckwheat “Excuse me, Doctor. Have you seen the video of Buckwheat getting shot?”
Thus far today on CNN and its affiliate Headline News (as I write this at 10:34am, EDT) there have been 44 reports about the YouTube/CNN debate, according to TVEyes.com. (>DING< there’s another one with Tony “It’s groundbreaking!” Harris interviewing someone who posed a question – we’re up to 45 now.) They’ve got a countdown clock in the corner and everything.
I know tonight’s debate is novel and first-of-its-kind and has the potential to advance the political discussion a tad, but CNN owes its viewers more than an 8 hour pre-game show during their broadcast day. While they may have been guilty of a “thinly veiled ratings grab” a little over a week ago, today’s cable news hucksterism insults the most casual viewer.
(Update: As of 11:56am, the total is now 50.)
(Update: It’s now 1:35, Kyra Philips is interviewing a San Fran MD student about the question he uploaded. We’re up to 60 segments/promos.)
(Update: As of 3:12, we’re now up to 77 segments — that’s 17 references in 97 minutes. And the pace is truly picking up.)