Getting carried away by election coverage is not something I generally involve myself in. Even as predictions of a Democrat sweep were plying the air waves in recent days, I had felt that all I needed to do was carry out my normal evening routine, avoid the TV coverage, and wake up to the results on National Public Radio.
Ah, but my housemate is a newspaper journalist. And while we both have many common interests – hiking and wine tasting being chief among them – I found myself being regularly updated last night about the various races and results across the country.
Speed-surfing the national and local news sites – both TV and newspaper, as well as political blogs (such as The Wonkette, which was posting furiously) – he devoured the latest up-to-the-minute posts to see which candidate was winning where, which propositions were passing, and to occasionally let out a war whoop when a Democrat declared him- or herself a winner.
All this activity was interspersed, of course, with the usual talking heads on TV.
What I found remarkable about my housemate’s experience last evening wasn’t so much the tidal wave of political change across the land, nor was it his devotion to the outcome. No, it was that the television networks’ online reporting simply blew away those of the major national newspapers.
When the nation’s precincts’ numbers changed, these online TV sites – CNN, MSNBC, Fox – seemed to be feeding the news to their Internet readers at lightning speed. The LA Times, NY Times, and our own San Jose Mercury News were half an hour or more behind in their reporting.
Well, so I woke up this morning to NPR anyway. And while I consider myself a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, I am at heart a slightly left-leaning political moderate.
And I woke up smiling.
Perhaps now we will have leaders that will listen to their constituents and be consensus builders. Perhaps now America can help to heal, rather than continue to infect, the political wounds it has inflicted across the globe. Perhaps now, at long last, I can believe that the time for fearmongering, political bulldozing, environmental rape, and divisiveness is finally over.
My housemate and I intend to celebrate tonight with a tri-tip roast marinated in rosemary, garlic, and red wine. We’ll pair it with a 1994 Staglin Cabernet from Napa Valley.