There are 508 days until the next Presidential Election on November 6, 2012. So, that means it’s about the right time to queue the myriad politically-oriented web shows discussing the idiosyncrasies of the US government, its 307 million or so constituents, and those that want to be the leader of both.
The first such program I’ve seen from a major media company comes from CBSNews.com and the broadcast network’s online channel’s Senior Politial Reporter Brian Montopoli. It’s called The Drive for the Nomination and begins with the kind of football-friendly animation that you’d expect from an Onion parody and continues with the sports theme into a whiteboard sectioned off with yard lines and speckled with heads of GOP contenders. But that’s about where any hint of entertainment value begins and ends. The rest of the installments are filled with straight up political talk that’s delivered with a style somewhere in between the Boom Goes the Dynamite Guy and Brian Williams.
Montopoli know his stuff! But whoever thought five-minute videos with two camera angles (one of Montopoli next to the white board, the other of a closeup of the whiteboard as Montopoli moves the heads of GOP frontrunners up and down the field) and seemingly lightly scripted, uninterrupted commentary from a journalist who obviously has a helluva lot more experience behind a desk than in front a camera wasn’t thinking about the viewer. I don’t need the political web series equivalent of the Rent is Too Damn High Guy, but The Drive is currently the Tim Pawlenty of online political shows. The web can do better!
Those are good metaphors! I promise! I would embed a video of The Drive here to show how good they are, but CBS News thinks it’s the 2004 Presidential Election (zing!) and doesn’t allow embeds of the show. Head to CBSNews.com to give it a watch.