Tuned In

Can Barack Obama Bail Out the Media By Getting Inaugurated?

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As the New York Times reports—and the constant stream of network-news PR emails hitting my inbox attest—TV is going all out to provide coverage of Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20. 

HBO will carry a free inaugural celebration. CNN will be at the Newseum. MSNBC will be on the Mall. And Fox News will be broadcasting from a bar filled with increasingly surly, drunk Republicans. (Kidding. Fox had not yet commented on its Jan. 20 plans.) Nick, BET and MTV will be there. 

The reasons? Hope, Change, Historic, blah blah blah. But also: for the media, in this economy, Obama’s pretty much all we got right now. He runs for President and cable ratings skyrocket. He gets elected, and on Nov. 5, the public quaintly rushes out to buy physical newspapers. He moves merch from framed magazine covers to commemorative DVDs. Essentially, we need you to watch wall-to-wall Inauguration coverage on Jan. 20, then go out Jan. 21 and buy every product by every advertiser who buys time on the broadcast. Otherwise, the whole house of cards comes down.

Oh, if only he could be sworn in on a Thursday, in primetime! Damn constitution!