The Internet: Better Than TV

To be sure, Chatterbox is prejudiced, but: Really, isn’t the Internet a better medium for getting election returns than TV? Chatterbox just got done channel-surfing MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and C-SPAN. (Between 9 and 10 p.m. Eastern Time, ABC, NBC, and CBS weren’t covering the election returns at all, though NBC was running a bar across the screen with election data.) He heard some blather from Jesse Jackson about how the Democrats are the party of inclusion. He heard some blather from Christy Whitman about how she feels perfectly in tune ideologically with the rest of the GOP. He heard Trent Lott say, “All politics is local.” He saw Bob Woodward chide Dee Dee Myers for taking pleasure in Al D’Amato’s defeat.

Then he turned to his beloved web. You don’t have to wait for the data you want to crawl across the screen-you can just seek it out! Let’s check out Slate’s beloved sister Web site, What did Sen. Russ Feingold get in Wisconsin? 54.9%! On to What did Gov. Parris Glendening get in Maryland? 51%! Now let’s have a gander at What are the Democrats’ net gains in the Senate so far? Two seats! (That will change, of course, as starts reporting on races where the polls haven’t closed yet; see “Enough Already,” below.) Why do all these Web sites insist on maintaining these silly TV operations, anyway? Who needs ‘em?

There’s plenty of blather on the web, of course. But you don’t have to sit through it to get the information you want. You don’t even have to read this column if Chatterbox gets on your nerves!

Timothy Noah