MSNBC host Rachel Maddow speaks to B&C‘s Andrea Morabito about TV news in the months leading up to the general election (subscription required):
So if we’re in a fallow period now, when will we start to see people pay attention again?
I think it’s the conventions and Labor Day. And I think the conventions are maybe more important this year than they have been in previous years. In 2008, particularly on the Democratic side, but also a little bit on the Republican side, there was real character-driven drama about who was going to be the nominee, and that made people interested in what was going on. So the conventions were the debut of Sarah Palin and some other stuff, but it was essentially trying to put some drama on something people are already paying attention to. Right now, nobody is paying attention. Cable news ratings are down across the board. The less you talk about the election, the more your ratings go up. The conventions are actually going to have a narrative import this year that they did not certainly have in ’08. That’s kind of exciting, to know that a political event is going to be politically important.