Sometimes, Driving Is Better

Glenn Reynolds and I both set out for Washington, D.C. today; I, early this morning, Glenn, early in the afternoon. I made it fine, attended some meetings and am now back home. Glenn’s airpane had trouble, or something, and he realized that if he had gotten into his car and driven, he’d have done better:

I left home for the airport at 2. If I had left for Washington then, I’d be halfway there by now. So far, Toyota is looking better, and U.S. Airways is looking worse.

I’ve had that feeling several times in recent years. In a car, you can always make some progress toward your destination.

What really struck me, though, was Glenn’s annoyance–mildy expressed, of course–with having to listen to CNN for hours:

I’ve watched over two hours of CNN nonstop, too, which only serves to remind me why I don’t do usually do that.

This has become my major issue with air travel, worse even than having to throw away my shaving cream and toothpaste. (Want a stock tip? Invest in a company that makes really, really small toiletries.) The airports of America–as far as I can tell, there aren’t any exceptions–have entered into a contract with CNN whereby CNN’s outrageously one-sided coverage blares non-stop at every airline gate in the U.S. Talk about a captive audience! You really don’t have any choice but to sit at the gate, waiting for your plane to load, and the volume is turned up so loud that you can’t miss a single snarky attack on the Bush administration. Frankly, I think I’d rather be waterboarded. Do you suppose John McCain can do something about this?

This is just one of many manifestations of the fact that the Democratic Party is the “home team” of American politics. CNN is the “official” news network, viewed by corporate America as neutral and unobjectionable even though, in fact, it is relentlessly liberal. If anyone proposed that they shift the contract over to Fox, for the sake of more competent news coverage if nothing else, the reaction would be: we can’t do that, Fox is conservative! It isn’t, actually, for the most part. But occasional moments of conservatism will drive a network more or less underground, while constant liberalism is considered middle of the road, and suitable for infliction–like it or not–on the air travelers of America.

UPDATE: We heard, almost immediately, from what may be the only place in the country where CNN is not inflicted on air travelers. Graham Storey writes:

I check Power Line a couple of times a day and saw your Sometimes Driving is Better post. Juneau International and, I think, Fairbanks International show Fox news on the TVs. Anchorage shows CNN.

It figures. The only time I was ever in Fairbanks, it was January and the temperature was somewhere between 40 and 50 degrees below zero–only a precursor to what happened a few days later, when it got really cold. I can see how it could be hard to listen to liberal broadcasters when it’s 45 degrees below zero!


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