(Author’s Note: This is the 14th in a series of political articles for CommPRO.biz that I’ll be writing leading up to Election Day. FYI – My first public relations job was with a political firm, where I worked on local, statewide and presidential campaigns. Sadly, I don’t follow my advice.)
If you’re really into the election, here’s my advice: Until the votes are counted, don’t tune in a cable TV political show. Why, because they will drive you crazy.
Each day, often several different times a day, you will hear how Trump is closing the gap with Biden, or Biden is expanding his map, or
And then there’s the cable shows equivalent of a race track tote board – the magical walls, maps or whatever they’re called.
Watching those magic maps that with a touch of the finger can show various ways that a candidate can win or lose the election is good television. The problem is until most of the votes are in all it does is show probabilities, and there are many different ways a candidate can reach the 270 electoral vote number needed to win the presidency.
It’s like watching the odds on a tote board at a race track display the odds or payoffs for each horse according to money wagered. Except at a race track, the winner is known in a few minutes. On election night watching the magic boards change can give a person agita. And who needs that?
The political beat reporters covering Trump and Biden are also a reason to put a lock on the cable TV shows until after the election. Their problem can be summed up in one word “sameness.” Do you really have to hear one more time that the president is holding a rally with people not wearing masks or social distancing? Or that Biden wants to bring the country together?
You can get the important political news, instead of the show biz version on the cable channels, by reading respected print pubs. And you don’t have to listen to the candidates and their surrogates try to convince you for the 100th time why “this is the most important election ever.”
If you must have your daily cable political show fix, try to limit it to two shows a day, once while you’re working out in the morning, the other in the evening. I listen to one each night while in bed. I set my TV’s sleep timer, and before the program is over I fall asleep. And you know what? When I read the morning newspapers, I learned I missed nothing.
About the Author: Arthur Solomon, a former journalist, was a senior VP/senior counselor at Burson-Marsteller, and was responsible for restructuring, managing and playing key roles in some of the most significant national and international sports and non-sports programs. He also traveled internationally as a media adviser to high-ranking government officials. He now is a frequent contributor to public relations publications, consults on public relations projects and is on the Seoul Peace Prize nominating committee. He can be reached at