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Surprise and Drama at Democratic Convention

August 03, 2004

Re "Tune In, Turn On and Decide." Commentary, July 30: Bill Maher is absolutely correct about the value of broadcasting political conventions. One thing that he fails to mention, however, is that conventions are full of drama and surprise. Barack Obama's speech was great American oratory that leapt forcefully and easily across political, racial, socioeconomic and gender divisions, leaving people across the country declaring that he will be our first African American president. Surely something of that magnitude deserves to be seen and heard by all Americans.

And Al Sharpton, the man who is largely scoffed at, surprised the convention organizers and the audience when he gave a speech different from the one that was submitted for approval, a speech that came out of nowhere and seemed to give voice and power to every African American to ever have set foot on American soil. Surely giving the American people the opportunity to see and hear these speeches is more important, more vital to our national consciousness and dialogue than which silly girl Joe Millionaire is going to choose.

Amy Entze

Edmonds, Wash.

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Though it is awfully considerate of Maher to implore readers to watch more television, my interest in finding out which faction of the ruling class is going to win this year's rigged election rivals that of watching an ignorant and sexist comedian babble politics.

Joshua Sperber

San Francisco

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In response to the July 30 article claiming that ratings were low for the Democratic National Convention, I must point your attention to where the real coverage was -- streaming coverage over the Internet. I sat and listened to the convention while working on my computer tuned into MSNBC.com last week. The best thing was no raving pundits and no commercials.

Carmel McFayden

Sherman Oaks

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