I can't decide whether this is hilarious or pitiful. From the New York Daily News:
Nielsen has finished compiling the ratings from all the networks that covered the conventions, right down to C-Span, and a higher percentage of the total TV universe tuned in to [Joe] Biden than to anyone else.
Specifically, Nielsen figures show Biden was watched by 14.7% of the 289.7 million people who live in U.S. television homes.
That's about 43.6 million people.
Definitive proof, I think, that Americans approached the conventions like NASCAR: the race is just going to go in circles, but you'll stay tuned for the possible crash.
And why not tune in to Joe Biden, if only to learn what happens when grandpa confuses the days on his oversized-print pill box? You know this audience was awaiting the improbable historical comparisons ("Let me tell you how tough this president is. He has literally slain more of his enemies than anyone since Vlad the Impaler"); the moment he would criticize offshoring by mimicking the accent of the customer service rep at a Bangalore IT center; or the guy-begging-for-change-on-a-freeway-offramp attacks on the GOP ("During my time in Congress, I personally saw Paul Ryan strangle no fewer than three drifters with his bare hands.")
Based on the ratings, it seems that the public is interested in politics in direct proportion to how closely it resembles a reality show. We can resent the American people for their taste, but shouldn't we save our real opprobrium for a Vice President who meets that demand?