The Government Channel


I have an idea.

When I lived in Denmark around 1990, they had at least seven political parties, and for campaigning, each party had an equal time slot on the same television channel to present themselves, and I’m pretty sure that’s all they were allowed to do for campaigning on television, in order to keep it fair.

So I can’t claim all the credit for this idea. But I will claim credit for trying to think of an American version that might help address some of the issues we’re dealing with around campaigning.

I would like to see a Government Channel here in the U.S. First of all, it should be a network channel, because then every voter can get it who at least has access to a television set. It should be nonpartisan and make every attempt to be unbiased and give equal representation to all parties. I think it would be more likely to fly if it were owned by a private entity (rather than being government owned). It would be great if there were no commercials on this channel. I don’t have that part quite worked out yet.

Obviously it would be nearly impossible to make this the only outlet for campaigning. But once established, maybe some and hopefully most American citizens would make it their first choice for becoming informed. Subsequently they can choose to ignore the smear advertisements that sometimes seem to be the only turds that achieve floating above all the other noise.

What would be on the Government Channel apart from equal time campaign presentation slots? How about summaries of government activities, such as Congressional hearings? I can picture Sarah Palin as an anchor, explaining what has passed each day and what the nuances are. I guess if you want to follow entire hearings they could air them, though those seem to get pretty boring after a while. Maybe they’d be good with simultaneous color commentary (like the director commentaries you can listen to on a DVD), or with interactive chat commentary from the public live in real time on the screen like MTV does for some of their shows.

Of course there would be a website too.

What do you think?

Kris Britt lives in Brooklyn and owns a multimedia development company called silente.

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