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Sunday, October 24, 2021
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Let’s spice up the campaign coverage, por favor

Editor’s Notebook: Let’s spice up the campaign coverage, por favor

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Flaccid, limp, lifeless, languid, droopy, pendulous.

But enough about my personal problems … what we’re really talking about today is the coverage of local political debates.

And with campaign season heating up (although in the local area it’s usually more “tepid” than actually “hot”), it’s time for me to speak directly to that rotating band of those who comprise the Northern Virginia press corps[e].

People, people, people, we know that candidate forums sometimes are the closest thing to death any of us will ever experience without actually cashing in our chips. Too often, the candidates won’t argue with each other, won’t offer dissenting views, won’t raise their voices, won’t tell the moderator his/her questions stink, won’t wander off on incoherent tangents, and frequently seem to be in full command of their faculties. In other words, the complete opposite of the 2020 presidential debates.

It matters not how listless a debate is. Our job is to spice it up for the public, those folks who purposely avoid political debates and rely on us, who get paid to cover them (albeit some of us more than others), to provide the red meat, find the areas of disagreement and make it all actually seem, you know, moderately exciting.

This used to be second nature to media types, who mostly spent their workdays trying to entertain themselves and, by extension, their audience. But the up-and-coming generations in the media of late seem to be lacking such a creative spark.

Blaming the yung’uns in the profession is a tad unfair; remember the political coverage by former Postie – and, like me, no spring chicken – Patricia Sullivan? A corpse might would have put more elbow grease into making political articles intoxicating, bewitching, piquant, seductive, beguiling and/or entrancing, to use just the first six words interchangeable with “exciting” I found in “The Synonym Finder” by J.I. Rodale.

So c’mon, those of you in the lesser echelons of the local media. Whether you love your jobs, hate them or are just trying to tread water until some other gig comes along and gets you out the door, do your best to spice things up for readers.

As the saying goes: If you can’t make it, fake it ……..

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALBERT! It came and went with only a modicum of fanfare, but Albert the wonder cat, the other permanent resident of my Shirlington abode (not counting the mice that occasionally make the mistake of showing up on his radar screen …), turned a middle-aged 8 last week.

Besides being a smart cookie, my all-black-except-for-a-gray-tuft-on-his-chest American shorthair is a decided creature of habit. He does everything the same way, at the same time, just about every day. And now that it’s turning just a little nippy on the weather front, he’s spending more time curled up in the covers of my bed in the morning.

Until breakfast time, that it. Cat does not miss a meal, ever.

– Scott McCaffrey

Not his best photo, but the best close at hand of Albert the wonder cat. He’s asking, “What’s for dinner?”
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