The tv network in charge of the network pool (pooled footage) for the DNC is...wait for it...FOX NEWS. (Networks all cooperate to designate one network the sole provider of all raw footage inside the Pepsi Center because otherwise it's more expensive and redundant for all networks to each have a camera.)
I thought this was intriguing and did a little digging. Just how is the network pool determined? Is it through bidding, random, some other process?
So far, I've asked the head of Media Logistics for the DNC for an answer and the DNC point person for the network pool. No response. But two interns for CBS who have been on-site helping to pre-produce CBS' coverage for the past two weeks told me that it's a lottery. The network that draws the winning straw pays for everything. They place and direct the numerous cameras inside collecting footage. The other networks participate knowing they'll have to return the favor for another such huge media event. (For example, ABC News won the network pool for the RNC. All the other networks will be getting their footage from cameras and operators paid for by ABC tv.)
So there doesn't seem to be any adulteration of the process that would allow a conservative news network to cover a convention of liberals.
Or is there?
If I find anything else, I'll update.
But I have to say, we inside the Pepsi Center and the MOMocrats stuck in traffic (avoiding another clash between Denver police and protesters) are inside a bubble. I've had no time to watch tv news coverage.
So what I want to know is this: what do YOU the viewers think about the television coverage so far? Do you detect any bias? Does it seem "fair and balanced" in that special Fox News way, or is it truly fair and balanced? We all know that when you focus on something, when you cut away, when you zoom in, when/how you allocate cameras to highlight protests or give minutes to other kinds of stories...all these subtly shape what we see and understand.
For example, if Bill O'Reilly's producers are asking for certain kinds of "coverage" inside the Pepsi Center for a show he's doing later, then does it affect what goes into the general network pool? It hadn't occurred to me before that there might be a way to shape what's seen in an overtly partisan way, but being responsible for the network pool could be one such way given the constraints of Fox News' budgetary and editorial decisions. Where they put resources might affect what you see.
Readers, let us know. Be sure to give specific examples, so if I need to follow up I can do so.
Cynematic also writes at P i l l o w b o o k.