Hit & Run

Silence is Golden

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Drudge is currently blaring that Fox News nuked both CNN and MSNBC in coverage of the Reagan funeral. That instantly suggests that, aha!, all the Reaganites tuned to the official network of the GOP. But I submit something else was at work.

The Fox coverage knew when to shut up. This is in stark contrast to, say, Wolf Blitzer, who, in a previous life, must've been an annoying AM disc jockey who talked into and out of every decent song he ever played. I'm pretty sure Wolf described how the color guard laced their boots, but as I was having an aneurysm at the time, the details are sketchy.

The interesting thing to ponder is whether Fox's built-in reverence for the Gipper -- and there is nothing wrong with that -- dampened the urge to fill the broadcast with interpretation. Conversely, the other nets' subliminal belief that the deification proceedings needed to be "filtered" may well have prodded them to fill the air with yammerings. Whatever the cause, the verbose coverage was objectively inferior.

The lesson? That when we next have one of these deals, and every 30 years or more sounds about right, let's just be quiet and remember Bill Clinton.