Tonight, the President of the United States will announce he’s taking executive action to change immigration policy because neither he nor our country can wait any longer for Congress to do something. Like their job.
If you want to hear what he says, I hope you can find a live broadcast to watch. I don’t have cable, so I can’t watch C-SPAN. I just have over-the-air, old fashioned antenna teevee. Provided it isn’t too windy, I can watch at 8 pm EST tonight:
- ABC: Grey’s Anatomy
- CBS: The Big Bang Theory
- NBC: Bad Judge
But I can’t watch the President make what will unquestionably be one of his most controversial, endlessly debated policy announcements of his two terms in office unless I tune into Univision. I’ll do so, but it comes higher up on the dial, so reception is much spottier for me. Here’s hoping for no wind or Comcast not screwing up my broadband in case I can stream it. (Pinning one’s hopes on Comcast … )
President Barack Obama will announce his highly anticipated plan to deal with millions of illegal immigrants tomorrow night. While the cable news networks will carry the 8pmET announcement, the broadcast networks — deep into November sweeps — will not.
According to network insiders, the White House did not request time from the networks for tomorrow night’s primetime speech. But because it comes at 5pm Pacific Time the network evening newscasts will have to update their programs.
I’m not sure, but wonder if the White House didn’t ask because they knew they wouldn’t get it? To be fair, though, that is “according to network insiders,” so who knows whether that is true or what game is being played.
We wring our hands about low voter turnout. We all post the video of Texas Tech students unclear on when the Civil War actually took place, or who won. But we have major networks whose broadcast licenses are awarded as a public trust, and they won’t broadcast a major policy decision that affects the future of our nation, the stability of our economy, and the lives of our families, friends, and neighbors.
We don’t have to figure out whether to blame the networks for pandering during sweeps, the populace for demanding our bread and circuses, or the government for refusing to function except in crisis mode. There’s enough blame to go around.
It seems like spitting into the wind to suggest emailing, calling, or tweeting the networks, or the White House, or both, but the day we get tired of raising our voices is the day we lose them completely. So, get to it.