Patrick Griffin | Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Decision 2008 is upon us. Today, a struggling nation discovers which candidate will spearhead the efforts of recovery and reform so desperately desired by the American people. Regardless of which candidate emerges victorious, our next president will assume his position with more than enough on his presidential plate. The economic crisis, the war in Iraq, healthcare, and abortion are all critical issues that deserve expert analysis and representation. But what about the state of the entertainment industry in America?
The matter of American entertainment will obviously not be of paramount concern to our nation’s next president. However, it is impossible to ignore the condition of the entertainment industry as the presidential race culminates. Never before has the competition to earn the presidency incited such attention across all levels of American media. The matter at hand extends beyond the realm of major news networks where poll after poll is graphically produced and presidential debates reiterate the contrasting platforms of each candidate. We’re talking about a whole new level of media that has emerged. This progeny of presidential coverage has been successful in attracting the attention of young Americans.
Consider NBC’s recent revised fall lineup. Amidst the schedule of the network’s typical sitcoms and dramas lies political satire. NBC recently took advantage of the executive inspiration and has been airing one of its most popular programs, Saturday Night Live, on Thursday nights. Since adopting a new political cynicism this season, the veteran program has seen its ratings up 50 percent according to The New York Times. Republican candidate John McCain even embraced the programs media success, appearing as a special guest on November 1st.
Late night cable has flourished as well. Both The Daily Show with John Stewart and The Colbert Report have seen record numbers of viewers as of late. Democratic candidate Barack Obama championed his campaign during an unorthodox interview with John Stewart on Oct. 29. Both programs, which thrive off of political mockery stand atop the late night talk show viewers charts.
Not to be outdone by television, the musical world has also become vocal in the nation’s political proceedings. Artists such as Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas, P. Diddy, Bruce Springsteen, Big & Rich, Ted Nugent and LeAnn Rimes have publicly expressed their allegiance towards their favorite candidate. Political issues have given many artists a newfound inspiration and purpose. The Rock the Vote Foundation has successfully employed the appeal of popular music in order to engage the political power of America’s youth.
So as we stand on the precipice of political change, at a time when global economics and peace remain uncertain, the entertainment industry may be the only current certainty in American daily life. However, the issue of governmental uncertainty finally concludes this evening. Where will this leave American media? Maybe it’s not one of the more pressing issues concerning the United States. Nevertheless, it will be one that is closely watched by the American public.