I haven’t written a political article in a while. I haven’t needed to. Tonight however something happened that bothered me. I wanted to watch the third GOP debate, including the first lower tier debate, but couldn’t. CNBC limited access to cable subscribers, or users of their app. Debates should remain free and accessible to all! I now consider CNBC in the same league as the NFL.
I looked up the time and channel of the debate earlier today. When 06:00 came I went to cnbc.com to watch, but nothing happened. I attributed this to an inaccessible Flash video player or something of the like, a valid guess. In this case however I could not watch because of a different kind of inaccessibility. I could not watch it because they did not broadcast it online for free. This enraged me! Not too long ago they broadcasted debates over local television and radio airwaves which anyone could receive. Now you need cable or to subscribe to CNBC.
Over and over we hear the cries from the pundits. “What can we do to get more people to vote? Why don’t young people care about politics? What ever can we do?” How about broadcasting the debates over public airwaves and mediums. How about recognizing that more and more young people do not even have cable. How about recognizing the changing times.
To me, this perfectly symbolizes everything wrong with American politics and media. It reminds me of the NFL. Every week my brother and I try to synchronize the radio broadcast with the television so we can enjoy football together, and every week we have problems. The NFL protects their content rigidly, like Gollum brooding over the one ring. I don’t want to do anything illegal, I just want to access the game easily. To make matters worse, their desktop site requires Flash, completely inaccessible to screen readers. Their iOS app barely qualifies as accessible, and has the low ratings to prove it. Emails to them go unanswered without even a form letter. So it goes…
This brings things full circle back to CNBC, the NFL of financial television. Everyone in the financial world watches CNBC. They have great influence. Now I will think of them in the same league as the NFL, and I would urge other traders to do the same. Hearing ads for Thursday Night Football underscored this point.
The debate started by asking the candidates for their greatest weakness, a real joke of a question. I started nodding off after that, until one of the moderators said the word marijuana which perked me up. It ended soon thereafter. I’ve never fallen asleep while watching an Eagles game. Like most things in life it hardly seemed worth the anger I first felt.
Politics really do matter. My art partner Sonia and I made a sign for a project called Next Stop: Democracy, which seeks to use street art to encourage voter engagement. They want to turn election day into a celebration. I love the idea, but I wish the establishment would give us something to celebrate. They have to do better than comically boring inaccessible debates. I just know one thing: I will listen to the next one on the radio. Tonight I used Tune-in Radio which by the way has excellent accessibility. If you need to clean your brain and revitalize yourself after absorbing the stupefying vibrations of the Conspiracy, then I’d recommend watching this perfectly normal video with nothing weird in it whatsoever. It might change your life forever.