Pinched for Time

Because of hurricane Gustav, or perhaps because of an intentional compressed schedule, the RNC broadcast schedule has very few breaks between speakers.

I have to fess up that I’m experiencing a bit of a Goldilocks phenomenon: Last week I complained that the DNC allowed too much time for the likes of Matthews and Olbermann to speculate at length about the rift in the Democratic party.

But this week, the broadcasters are so pinched that they can barely get a word in between the speeches. And, in some ways, this is good: The content of the speeches is the news of the day, and they shouldn’t be overwhelmed by endless commentary.

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd made this observation:

That’s an added benefit. We’re not saying that’s what they’re doing, but it is an added benefit. It keeps the commentary from us to a minimum so they hope the speeches speak for themselves and there isn’t too much over-analysis or regular analysis.

It’s not just what we may have to say, they don’t have to run the risk of some commentary from a Democrat from a remote location or a delegate on the floor who may not have got on the script. They don’t want to take any chances.

Normally, I don’t lose sleep worrying about how much time Matthews and company have to air their thoughts, but tonight they barely got to correct an error in Mitt Romney’s Huckabee’s (oops!) speech.

All day, the Republicans have been repeating the line that Biden got fewer votes in the primaries than Palin got in her campaign for mayor. A line that’s just plain untrue.

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Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.