Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure Gerald R. Ford was a great, patriotic American who was the just the right person to ‘end the long national nightmare’ that was Watergate.
But, for the past three or four days, it’s been a non-stop Ford love-in on television. His various speeches, photo ops and flops (Comedian Chevy Chase must have gotten a few, new stand-up gigs as a direct result of his Ford impersonations) are literally everywhere. And, it’s still not over.
Again, no offense, but, based upon the 24×7 coverage, one would have thought a combination of Lincoln, Washington and FDR had just passed away.
My beef isn’t with Ford. It’s with the so-called ‘news judgment’ of our leading media. Someone in some sort of responsible position needs to know when to say when. Between Saddam Hussein’s hanging, Ford’s memorial services and college football bowl games, there was priceless little TV fare to choose from this past weekend.
On the other hand, maybe the Ford homage will trigger an entrepreneurial thought in some entertainment mogul’s mind, namely: an all presidential funerals cable channel! Just think of the possibilities. There could be actual documentary footage (think JFK), talk shows to debate the merits or lack thereof of the dead president in question (imagine a rousing discussion about James K. Polk’s contributions), recreations of presidential funerals that occurred in pre-CNN days (I know I’d be fascinated to view the reenactment of John Tyler’s lying in state), etc. And, the advertising possibilities also have to be limitless: everything from funeral homes and presidential libraries/museums to presidential alma maters and home town travel bureaus would line up to buy air time).
So, in retrospect, maybe Gerald R. Ford was a trendsetter after all.