Wednesday, 5 November 2008

My US Election Hero is ...


As Flickering Too Long says, Obama's victory speech was excellent. And last night was moving in many ways.

Obama himself is a mesmerising figure, and one (as object of such attention, such rhapsody, such excitement) by whom it is easy to be moved. (Which does not in any way detract from the man's talents.) Many people, no doubt, have been touched by Barack Obama, despite never having met the fellow. We've somehow got to know him over the past year or so. We feel a connection.

So far so unremarkable. The headline 'People Feel Connection to Obama!' ain't going to sell many newspapers.

But what about all those other people with whom – as a result of this election – we might feel a connection?

Over the past months, I feel I have formed a one-way e-bond with Michael Tomasky, of the Guardian – whose Tomasky Talk video blogs have followed the American election (he also writes).

At first, I found his tendency occasionally to sniff, resonantly, mid-sentence, extremely distracting. And I'm not about to claim that this has since become a habit I cherish.

However, I'm fascinated by the transformation that has occurred. At first, I watched the videos purely for their substantial content – slightly frustrated by the fact that video, by nature, is so much slower than the written word.

But, of late, I've found myself watching for Tomasky. Wanting to get his take. And wanting to see him give it.

How curious.

His latest (perhaps final?) American election piece was rather affecting. Watch it, why don't you? I've come to think that this is an incredibly pleasant, intelligent and sensitive human being. And will miss regular Tomasky talk bulletins should they (as I fear) cease.

***

One pundit, however, by whom I was not impressed is David Dimbleby – whose chairmanship of the BBC's election night coverage I found (at points) exceptionally irritating.

I cannot stand it when some pompous, establishment-endorsed arsehole has to have an answer for everything. Whenever a guest or co-presenter made a joke or flippant comment, Dimbleby had to come clunking in with some kind of rejoinder to undermine the attempt. He came across as impatient, frequently humorless and self-important.

When you're as well-established, respected and (I have no doubt) well-off as Dimbleby, you don't need to get the bloody last word in every exchange. It impresses nobody.

1 comment:

acraig said...

I wish I had followed these Tomasky talks when it was all happening, from the video you linked he does indeed appear to be a most interesting, sensitive and wise person.

I also agree about Dimbleby, he's a perpetual punchline-spoiler. In fact, the BBC coverage did seem constantly biased in Obama's favour, despite the BBC's supposed impartiality. You could tell the atmosphere in the studio was tense between the BBC folks and any Republican guests they had. Especially John Bolton, although admittedly he was a complete arse.

But at least they were more cautious with calling the results than ITV. While Dimbleby was saying it's not over until he's definitely got 270 (when Obama was at the 200 mark), ITV were saying "Whichever way you look at it, he's DONE IT!"

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