Monday, November 17, 2008

"But I play one on TV..."

Since I prefer to get my news from online or print outlets (how droll!), I missed this: Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and former presidential candidate, has his own TV show on Fox News.

I have to admit, I think I would probably enjoy hanging out with Gov. Mike listening to music and such. Seems like an affable guy even though his social views scare the dickens out of me.

But, I have to object to him having his own talk show. It has nothing to do with his politics, too.

See, like it or not, Fox News (like CNN, MSNBC, etc.) aren't nearly as concerned with news as they are with ratings. Ratings are the name of the game in TV land... the better to sell ads with. And when ratings tank, ad dollars go south, too.

To that end, Mike Huckabee is exactly the kind of person Fox should have on TV. Not only is he engaging to watch, he is the kind of person who would capture Fox's key audiences and deliver big ratings. And to do that, he has to entertain. And he has to say things that won't get viewers to switch channels.

THAT, dear reader, is my issue. The man may still run for office in the future. Given that, he shouldn't be entertaining or saying things to attract viewers. he should be on the other side of the desk answering questions and taking stands - saying what he feels are hard truths and defending those views. or trying to build consensus.

Again, this has nothing to do with his political views. Oprah could probably run for office and get quite a few votes. And while she has built her success on TV by speaking her mind, she certainly has to deliver an audience to stations paying to pick up her show and then sell ads against it. That works for TV, but it undermines all non-TV motives, genuine or not.

Anyhow, I think Fox is under-utilizing Mike Huckabee. I'd much rather have him on instead of Hannity, a man who occasionally vacations into a realm I call reality. Huckabee, while I disagree with him, at least seems to understand that railroading his views in a smug manner is divisive.

But if he wants to run for office again... buyer beware.


Anonymous said...

I don't mind him having a show, I just find it weird that a governor has a tv show on Sunday nights. Is that normal?

AndyWride said...

Fox did the same thing with Jerry Springer... I'm hoping the I Heart Huckabee Show goes the same route.