PR Secrets: Get $10 Million in TV Time—FREE!
My wife, Peggy, and I are cable news junkies. We watch network evening news because we've always watched network evening news and it's on when we're making dinner. But it's a dumb habit.
I go back to John Cameron Swayze and the Camel News Caravan-15 minutes of black-and-white news with primitive graphics on NBC at 6 p.m. On Swayze's desk was a Camel cigarette ashtray, so nobody missed who the sponsor was. This was followed by a 15-minute show starring Perry Como and/or Jonathan Winters.
Since then, network news has attained what TV critics call "gravitas," and what I call pomposity.
Fox News with Brit Hume and Shep Smith is a lot faster, a lot more fun and covers many more stories.
But for us, the real action is on cable-a screaming bunch of what Vice President Spiro Agnew called the "nattering nabobs of negativity" endlessly analyzing flyspecks.
The cable news crowd is fun. But in terms of influence on the national scene, cable isn't worth a bucket of warm spit.
About Cable Television News-It's Tiny!
When the Obama campaign announced it was spending $5 million on TV time during the Olympics, the McCain camp decided to spend $6 million.
The Aug. 11 Huffington Post story by William Bradley, "McCain's Olympic Attack Ad and Other TV ADD War Oddities," triggered this piece. Bradley wrote:
What both sides have been doing in the 10 days since then is play TV ADD wars. In other words, cater to the attention deficit disorder of the cable news culture by "launching" multiple TV ads in rapid succession. This is done, as a key McCain advisor acknowledged, to drive "cable news chatter." In other words, the ads are being used largely as video press releases.
Spending millions of dollars on network Olympic coverage in order to get your commercials discussed on cable political talk shows is a total waste of money for two reasons: