Broadcast issues off topic as usual


Another presidential acceptance speech has come and gone, and as per usual, there was not a single solitary mention of a single solitary broadcasting issue. As hot as these matters seem to get in Washington and in other locations throughout America where stakeholders and activists wrangle over policy, Barack Obama (D-IL) gave the topic a total and complete pass in Denver Thursday night. That puts him in good company, with every other presidential nominee we’ve ever heard, in both major parties.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the Obama campaign has been looking past November, and is working with Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill in an effort to hit the ground running should Obama win the White House. According to WaPo, concerned parties in the campaign and on the Hill want to avoid the legislative missteps that plagued the beginning of the Clinton administration back in 1993.

Democrats have a lot of items on their wish list, and committee chairs are looking forward to the possibility of working with the White House with, not against them. On the other hand, even if Democrats are wildly successful in this year’s battle for the Senate, it is unlikely they will do well enough to get a filibuster-proof 60-seat portion of the body, giving a united Republican opposition the ability to gum up the works.

WaPo says Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has advised her committee chairs to be ready to tee up “low-hanging fruit” in order to establish a track record of success prior to tackling really big issues.

RBR/TVBR observation: One of these days somebody with a communications policy axe to grind, like Byron Dorgan (D-ND) or Mike Pence (R-IN), is going to sneak a sentence or two on the topic into an acceptance speech. But we doubt it. Meanwhile, John McCain (R-AZ) will have a leg up in dealing with Congress himself if he wins in November, although in his case he will definitely be forced to rely on his past ability to work across the aisle. McCain has a much better chance to capture the White House than his party does in either house of Congress. As for low-hanging fruit, we suspect two items of interest to broadcasters that possibly fit that description are minority tax certificates and a federal reporters shield.