But then, of course, we stopped what we were doing and tuned in. I'd not really watched the rest of the DNC this week, because when I did, the major networks covering it felt that it was more important to show their pundits discussing the convention than to actually show the convention, and I don't like being told what to think about speeches I am unable to hear. (Shoulda watched it on C-Span, but I don't think it has an HD feed.) I kept fidgeting between channels; PBS had a graphic-free presentation but there was no crowd mike and the sound in general was too low, whereas CNN was loud and bright but also had lots of unnecessary and distracting on-screen graphics and INCREDIBLY annoying cutaways to other people watching the speech, and, well, who's gonna watch Fox News besides people who enjoy pain. (More on that later.)
As for the speech itself, well, I thought it was absolutely brilliant; he offered a point-by-point ass-kicking to every GOP smear, he offered up specific policy initiatives, he went right after McCain and kicked him in the teeth. We were both clapping and cheering and getting teary-eyed.
After the speech, I got a call from my brother, who was actually there at the stadium, 3 rows in front of Al Gore's box; he's been on the campaign trail before and he also heard Obama's 2004 keynote, and he said he'd never seen anything like this. I can't possibly imagine what it was like to see it in person; Jono said it was just about the most electric and exciting event he'd ever been a part of.
And then, of course, I felt compelled to watch FOX's post-speech coverage. Look, I knew the speech was awesome; I don't know how anybody could watch it and NOT be moved and inspired, which is precisely WHY I watched Fox - I wanted to see how they would spin one of the most compelling political speeches of the last 30 years into a non-event. They flailed about for a bit, even though they'd stacked the deck with Republican pundits - Bill "The Bloody" Kristol even appeared flustered at first, actually acknowledging the success of the speech.
This morning, I flipped between CNN and FOX. If you watched FOX this morning, you'd never know that Obama spoke last night; they'd already moved their morning news team to the GOP convention site, and most of their talk this morning was about McCain's VP selection and the growing speculation about Palin, the female governor of Alaska. It was actually kinda hilarious, to watch them all jabbering confusedly about it and then, over the course of the hour, eventually talking themselves into it as thinking it was the greatest choice ever made by any politician, ever.
The truth of the matter is that if it is Palin, it's both a smart move by McCain and also an incredibly transparent last gasp of an increasingly irrelevant campaign. Palin may indeed appeal to undecided women, but she will undoubtedly turn OFF the large swath of GOP males who would never ever vote for a woman, especially when McCain himself is 72 years old. She is a loyal Bushie, who wants to start drilling in the ANWAR province yesterday. She is also everything that McCain derides about Obama - she's young and inexperienced. (Of course, FOX gave this a caveat by saying that even though she's only a one-term governor, at least it's "executive" experience, as opposed to being a crummy old Senator.)
I'm at least glad to report that even an hour's worth of FOX can't kill the joyous feeling of inspiration and hope I have this morning. I believe in Obama; I have hope that things can get better. Please, God, don't let America fuck this up.