Bob Franken

The Massachusetts Media Rescue Plan

You gotta hand it to those executives of TV stations in and around Massachusetts. Somehow, they have managed to rake in extra millions of dollars in political ads.

Panicky Democrats and their supporters are suddenly pumping in the big bucks to rescue a Senate race that was considered such a forgone victory for their party less than a month ago.

Republicans are doing the same thing as they smell blood in the Bay State waters, and a chance to hugely embarrass the Dems where it is deep blue, a wrenching mortification considering they would be taking away the seat that was Edward Kennedy’s for 47 years until his death last August.

In addition, a GOP victory would likely mean the defeat of health care reform, a humiliation that could weaken the Presidency of Barrack Obama or at the very least fire up the Republican steam rollers as they try and flatten the Democrats in November. Right now a Republican takeover in either house of Congress looks highly unlikely. But then, so did the possibility of the Democrats blowing the Massachusetts special election.

For TV stations, it’s all good. The higher stakes mean wall-to-wall campaign ads…paid advertising. For that matter all media will benefit, even the newspapers that are left.

Maybe those few in their management who actually know how to run a business, need to sit down and hammer out a rescue plan that takes advantage of both parties’ abilities to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Perhaps they can put procedures in place that turn the most ho-hum election into a win-at-all-cost fight to the death.

They don’t even have to wait for that. Any issue, any piece of legislation, no how matter how mundane, can be promoted as a matter of crisis proportions that requires big spending from the special interest groups. Yes indeedy, “There’s gold I them thar’ bills!”

It also means that all of us in the “Blah-Blah-Blah” business have something to talk about between commercials, which gives credence to Teddy Kennedy’s older brother John’s contention that
“A rising tide lifts all boats”

So media moguls: Stop with all the hand-wringing. We can always count on the ineptitude of those in politics and government. They can and will mishandle everything.

Come to think of it, maybe they also have a script. Could it be they too have gotten together…that all these showdowns they create are by design so they always have jobs and big salaries?

What other explanation could there be for what’s happening now in Massachusetts?

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