Man, are my nuts sore. Last night I was massaged and cajoled, teased and manipulated. I was led triumphantly to the brink (the precipice!) over and over again, but each time I was abandoned at the edge, left with my head pounding and my gut throbbing, glory just out of reach. For 2 full hours last night I was a ravenous, beady-eyed, unsatisfied man, wanting only one thing. I knew it was coming, flesh and blood, if I could only wait. But instead, fatefully and finally, a seedy video pushed me past the point of no return, and by the time the real thing appeared I was asleep on the couch.
Last night, CNN blue balled the nation for 2 hours as we patiently awaited the address of Senator Edward Kennedy, who was making an appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Denver despite his ongoing treatment for brain cancer. I want to talk about how it went down, and how they teased their viewers’ collective cock with video montages and live commentary.
It started with Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer breathlessly conjecturing about what Sen. Kennedy’s appearance might consist of – both of them seemed to wonder if the ailing senator’s planned address would include words or just mumbling and drooling into the podium microphone. This conjecturing, mind you, was taking place during and over Nancy Pelosi’s introductory speech. Why would we want to hear what the Speaker of the House has to say when we can watch Wolf and Anderson, looking like furry little Q-tips sitting side by side, talk about what the Speaker of the House might say while she’s saying it?
About 30 minutes in, CNN starts getting real sexy on me. A Jimmy Carter montage reminds me what a bun Rose Carter was, we get a few Susan Sarandon shots while Jesse Jackson Jr. is doing his best not to sound gay, and finally – this is just naughty – we get cutaways of Spike Lee wearing a diamond stud and an Obama hat during a Dick Durbin interview on the floor. Ooh, CNN. How many boyfriends have you had?
After a cool-down shot of the tragic George McGovern and a few cutaways to Matthew Modine in the audience as Blitzer and Cooper continue to talk, in rolls John King to fire us up about Kennedy. At this point it becomes clear to me that CNN isn’t trying to appear objective. They just love their big Teddy Bear, no homo. John King (aka The New Jew aka The Bash Basher) bros down hard on the Senator, celebrating him as a New Deal Democrat who has been “sailing against the wind” for most of his career. Being a ‘New Deal Democrat’ in 2008 does sound like sailing against the wind, but is it salient or productive? Mr. King apparently does not suffer from the skepticism that I am experiencing.
A few glorious video and photo montages later, Caroline K. steps to the mic to introduce her uncle, and the rest is history. In retrospect, I have to wonder whether or not CNN and the Democratic party actually want viewers to see the speakers, or if they just want us to see the endless jabbering of the CNN personalities, before and after, perfectly timed to our attention spans so that we will inevitably channel surf or go out to pick up Chinese food during the actual speeches. In my mind, it takes an inordinate and ultimately degrading amount of commitment to actually see the person you’re looking forward to. If you’re excited at 7pm, it’s hard to stay aroused until 9pm when the main event finally strolls up to the podium. Even if you make it that far, the entrance music will most likely be enough to kill your mood.
All I’m saying is – CNN, you are an unredeemable tease. You can’t treat people that way. You can’t lead us on just because you want us to want you. You can’t tell us how good it’s going to be and then keep telling us for hours on end with no action. A man gets frustrated and angry from that kind of behavior. And these blue blood blue balls will sting for a while. You know what? I’ll let you know how it goes with PBS.