With the presidential primaries trudging along here in the United States I decided to see if there were any podcasts beyond the big media names covering this race. I found a video podcast, Political Lunch (iTunes link), hosted by Will and Rob. It’s an alternative to the big guys but not necessarily in what they cover. Rather, it’s how they cover it.
For those of us who have found the 24-hour news channels tiring, the way they fill up time by having talking heads go on and on about precipitations so wrong that you’re thankful they’re not in charge of telling you the weather, Political Lunch is a nice alternative. Each of the episodes, one each weekday, are roughly five minutes long. What’s amazing is how much information is provided in such a short amount of time. Will and Rob have a sense of timing you would think only belonged to veteran broadcasters. When they perform their “10 in 3” segment, ten news items in three minutes, it’s quite an amazing feat. Nothing sounds rushed. What we get is just no-frills precise news copy being spoken clearly and firmly. It’s nice to know that some journalists still care about trimming away the fat, rather than stretching for time and bombarding us with graphics.
While Political Lunch doesn’t go down the Fox News route it certainly isn’t a placid viewing experience. Graphics from websites scroll across as the pertaining stories are being discussed. Video clips are sometimes used, usually at the end of a show. Will and Rob themselves are interesting hosts. They are broadcasters not unlike Anderson Cooper or Keith Olbermann who can manage to sound both authoritative but still have the slightest sense of irony or suspicions when going over certain items. They realize they aren’t just competing with Brian Williams but also Jon Stewart.
Political Lunch’s truncated format means that it offers news for people who follow the election only for the dograce aspect. At that goal it’s very good. If you want to learn about the issues the candidates are either talking about or running away from you will have to look elsewhere. But if you’re interested in quickie lawsuits that will decide whether Dennis Kucinich will debate on NBC or not, and I must admit that I am, than Political Lunch is a great show to keep up with.
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