1. I called Barack Obama the winner hours before the U.S. television networks did. I know, I know — that’s like beating up a triple amputee. Not something a decent person would ever do and certainly wouldn’t brag about. (So I’m not bragging, just stating facts.) The U.S. networks were hamstrung by their screwups during 2008 election night coverage when they jumped the gun and made some very wrong early calls one way or another. This time they held back so long that most TV viewers fell asleep before the major nets made their most important calls. But all the TV anchors were like kids sworn to keep a secret they couldn’t keep: From 8:35 p.m. EST on, the TV anchors were squirming in their seats, desperate to tell America — and the world — that Obama was re-elected.
2. The Democrats claimed victory — not verbally but effectively — shortly after 10 p.m. EST when Obama’s mustachioed terrier David Axelrod was set loose to talk to the TV networks.
3. I’ve been watching U.S. elections on TV — one way or another — since John F. Kennedy kicked Richard Nixon’s ass in 1960. This was the first one I ever watched on computer. I missed nothing. I got more.
4. But a lot of what I was watching on my laptop was TV network coverage. What happens when advertising abandons network television like it is/has abandoning/ed print media? Who pays the piper then? I don’t actually think advertising will abandon TV — yet — but there is a major metamorphosis going on here. Soon everything goes through one pipeline to a variety of receptors. God help us then — we’ll be paying through the nose forever. I’m going to start an analogue 400-watt radio station — just so something is still on the airwaves after the apocalypse. Is anybody listening? I didn’t think so.
5. Just like the U.S. electorate, the U.S. media is deeply split. Fox is a joke but most of the mainstream network journalists were so firmly in the Democratic camp that they were a joke too. Sad, but at least it’s all well and truly out there now. The pretence of impartiality is absurd but at least a lot of the TV pros tried to give real information too.
6. Best overall coverage was NBC News.
7. Worst (computer) sound quality was Fox News.
8. Obama has his second presidency and four years of job experience now: So get on with it. The world survived eight years of George W. Bush. Surely it can survive eight years of Barack Obama. So get on with it. Don’t wus around. Be the man.
9. Based solely on what I was hearing on network TV news coverage, I would dearly love to be a Latino in the U.S. over the next four years. It sounds like it’s going to be one big love shower. Hey, where’s my gift bag?
10. This was not an election of stark choices. The world has not ended and the heavens have not opened. In fact, both candidates managed to avoid talking about most of the really important issues the president of the United States will face over the next four years. I wish us all good luck with an adequate president stumbling through the debris of his last four years.
(Bonus track: Big Bird thanks you, America.)