So after the dust settles, who was the real winner last night? Cable news. (Some would say Barack Obama, who was re-elected to a second term. But, let’s be honest here, being president sucks.)
Reports are coming in today that, though down from 2008’s race, ratings were stellar, with CNN taking home the prize for most viewers.
A ratings bonanza for cable news shouldn’t be surprising.
For months, the three big boys of cable news—CNN, MSNBC and Fox News—all bamboozled people into thinking this election was closer than it was by stressing the national vote and having right-leaning conservatives pump up Mitt Romney’s chances.
Yet, smart pollsters and even high members in the President's camp felt like this was going to be a fairly dominant Obama win. And it was; the President won six out of the seven swing states.
I followed the polling in the swing states regularly, so I was fairly confident that Barack Obama would pull it out.
I am an Obama guy, but last night I spent the majority of my time watching Fox News.
This seems odd to most because I’m pretty liberal-minded, but I was watching the largely conservative network for two reasons: I find it more interesting to hear opposing arguments rather than nod my head to my same liberal beat, and Fox News really does make more enjoyable TV (sorry MSNBC).
My Fox News viewing started on Monday, when I watched the Bill O’Reilly show, which had the musty conservative trifecta of Karl Rove, Dick Morris and Charles Krauthammer. All three Republican faces predicted a win for Romney.
But it was Dick Morris who I was most pleased with, because he was trolling the hardest. He predicted Romney was going to win and win with record numbers, saying he would take all the swing states, along with a number of East Coast states.
It was trolling at it’s finest. I changed the channel at nine to watch Homeland (there’s only a certain amount of Republican I can stand at any given moment…and Sean Hannity was next.)
Election Day was where the real gold was. It featured all the conservative Fox regulars (the mean, but happy blonde women, the old black guy, mean, but happy blonde women number two, crazy Bush guy, the fake Democrat and mean, but happy blonde woman number three.)
Throughout the night, I found the mood to be mostly falsely optimistic, with each segment, seemingly, dedicated to trying to figure out ways Romney could win.
As the night went on, and the polls started to close, states that conservatives thought might be on the fence (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) were all breaking the President’s way. It was becoming clear that Mitt was going to lose.
The room was glum. I was ecstatic.
The magic occurred at 10, when Fox News called the election because B.O. won Ohio. Karl Rove came out and insisted that it’s too early to call Ohio. Then they had happy, but mean blonde women number one try to get to bottom of things by roaming around Fox’s basement looking for the dude who called Ohio.
It was mix of funny and sad and just a percent visual image of what the channel really represents.
At some point, I changed to CNN to see that dude do the magic with the board.
But I have no regrets about watching Fox -- It was great TV.