Why must pundits try to trump speakers, belabor the obvious?

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One of my friends sent me a Nerf gun several years ago so when I watch political conventions or debates, I can shoot Nerf balls at the people on TV who are saying stupid things.

Perfect. I just need a lot more balls.

My gun has definitely decreased the amount of time I spend yelling at my TV, but I sometimes still find it necessary to multi-task and shout my discontent as well as unload my Nerf gun.

The other night my shouts weren’t directed at a political speaker but rather the commentators.

I get it. You’re commentators. You comment. But shut up. Really. Shut up.

You do remember you’re televised, right? This isn’t the age of radio, when describing what couldn’t be seen was necessary.

“They are showing a video now. He’s shaking hands. He’s beginning to speak.”

Goodness sakes! I’m watching it. I see it. How on earth do you think you’re being helpful? Be quiet.

I’m pretty sure you’re not paid by the number of words you speak. I’m also quite certain you’re not paid by the value that your comments add. Sometimes less really is more. It may be hard for you to understand, but I’m tuning in to hear the speaker speak, not to hear commentators tell me that he or she is now waving or walking or smiling or, worse yet, to talk over the speaker I tuned in to hear.

If you feel you must speak — and clearly you must — then at least give me a scroll at the bottom of the screen with the text of the person I tuned in to hear. Then I could mute you and read what I tuned in to hear.

Or make a sacrifice and let me hear the speaker and type in your crazy comments and let them pop up on the screen for me to ignore. Maybe you’d recognize your redundancy if you typed in “He’s at the podium” on the right of a split screen when clearly the world sees him at the podium on the left of their screen.

Better yet, I want a high-tech device that allows me to mute some people and continue to hear other people. Awesome. Then I could mute the talking heads who are adding no value to the proceedings and listen to the actual speakers who, granted, may also be adding no value to the proceedings.

I realize it may be masochistic to want to hear the speakers speak, but I do. I don’t care about your thoughts, your spin, your feeling, your take, your reaction, how it compares to what you thought would happen and the rest. Shut up.

I seem to be able to make it through an episode of my favorite TV sitcom or a movie without your commentary. I’m pretty sure I can make it through a speech on my own, even though some speeches can turn into a word salad or a stream of lies.

Even so, I got this. I don’t need you telling me I just heard a stream of words that doesn’t form a complete thought. Got it. Although, come to think of it, you could show your worth by actually holding people accountable for their made-up or cherry-picked data. I might endure you for that service.

But in many cases, it truly is painful enough to endure the speeches, even with my trusty Nerf gun. I don’t need your explaining the train wreck to me. Unfortunately, it’s in full view, making me speechless and making me wish that it had the same effect on you.


  1. This reminds me of some TV sports commentators. Oftentimes, they only distract one from what is going on. One of my uncles taught me to find the game not only on TV but radio as well. He’d mute the volume on the TV and turn up the radio. If you’re as deep into the conventions as my uncle was into sports, try to find the event on radio and mute your TV.


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