Super Tuesday on TV

In Which Romney Wins Ohio and Our Correspondent Dozes Off
What you're watching.
March 7 2012 1:43 AM

Super Tuesday on TV


Tom Brokaw offers assurances that he will keep offering us assurances.

Rick Santorum in Steubenville, Ohio on Super Tuesday.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

I stuck with CNN long enough to catch correspondent Tom Foreman disappear into the CGI wonderworld of the so-called "virtual convention," which is, in essence, a bar graph that is difficult to read. But where the bars in most such graphs have the good manners to share a common x-axis and to sit still, these bars—represented by delegates waving placards—are kinda rowdy, rippling like purple waves of grain or the paper fans of church ladies. Foreman strode a virtual stage in front of them, for no good reason. It was silly. Why does CNN keep doing such stuff? With all the money they spend bringing empty ideas like this to fruition, they could hire someone to make sure that ideas like this do not come to fruition.

The night ground on. Every candidate delivered a speech heavy with spin—spin like a cement mixer, dull and wet and heavy. On NBC—the only network to devote more than two blinks of prime-time programming to the contest—Tom Brokaw joined Brian Williams to assure us that this primary was weird. The subtext of the appearance was that Tom Brokaw would keep offering assurances, which was reassuring. Every network filled time until Ohio was not too close to call. On Fox News, Bill Hemmer likened the contest to a Bengals-Browns game, and Megyn Kelly grinningly announcing her confusion about the simile.

CNN reined in its arena rock, and I discovered that gratuitous guitar riffs really had been stimulating. In their absence, I fell asleep in front of the television for 90 minutes—an experience which, from an entertainment perspective, very closely resembled being awake while watching Juan Williams on Fox. It was my finest old-man moment with the tube since mid-February, when I couldn't raise my game to the level of staying up to watch Saturday Night Live. Perhaps this is the new excess. In the old days, young men fretted, or failed to fret, about choking to death in their sleep on their own vomit. These days, whenever news anchors labor to keep chatting while vote tallies trickle in, the challenge is to avoid drowning in a puddle of one's own drool. In that I succeeded by the narrowest of margins. In Ohio, so did Mitt Romney. We both face further challenges down the road.

Troy Patterson is Slate's writer at large and writes the Gentleman Scholar column.



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Natasha Lyonne Is Coming to the Live Culture Gabfest. Are You?

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.


How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Honcho Says Celebs Who Keep Nude Photos in the Cloud Are “Stupid”
  News & Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
Business Insider
Oct. 2 2014 11:16 AM Some McDonald's Monopoly Properties Matter More
The Vault
Oct. 2 2014 11:07 AM Mapping 1890 Manhattan's Crazy-Quilt of Immigrant Neighborhoods
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 10:36 AM How Bad Will Adam Sandler’s Netflix Movies Be?
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM Surge Pricing Is Not Price Gouging
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 2 2014 9:49 AM In Medicine We Trust Should we worry that so many of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa are missionaries?
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?