Brown dared to talk for about 20 minutes to gathered supporters who had helped him pull off a historic victory, which changed the landscape of the nation politically. To a large extent, we can probably blame Scott Brown for the extreme length of Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address, which was undeniably shaped by the shellacking the President took last week—not to mention last Fall.
Despite the fact that it seemed to drag on like one of Castro’s birthday speeches, or Khadafi’s deranged appearance at the U.N., the Washington Post reveals today that Barack Obama’s SOTU address was only the 5th longest State of the Union speech in modern history.
Here is the breakdown published in the Post today:
At 71 minutes, President Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday ranks among the longest such speeches in the past 45 years. These are the longest State of the Union addresses:
2000 (Clinton): 89 minutes
1995 (Clinton): 85 minutes
1998 (Clinton): 78 minutes
1998 (Clinton): 76 minutes
1967 (Johnson): 71 minutes
2010 (Obama): 71 minutes
Source: The American Presidency Project, University of California at Santa Barbara
Of course, the MSNBC “anchor team” of Matthews, Maddow and Olbermann had no trouble with that aspect of the speech—and NBC had no problem with the most ideological crew on TV hosting a major news event.
Fox, by contrast, used Bret Baier and Shephard Smith as its anchors for the SOTU. Imagine the outcry if the network Keith Olbermann calls, “Fox Noise,” and “Fixed News,” has used O’Reilly, Hannity and Beck as the night’s anchors.
Every network had its panels of clearly identified partisan and ideological commentators last night, including Fox. And while we spend a lot of time on this blog identifying the bias of some of the so-called “straight news” people, only MSNBC chose to host the evening with open ideologues.
More on the details of what that meant to MSNBC’s coverage last night, later. For now, it’s worth noting that while there were benign references to the length of the speech, we had no “Merciful heavens will he please shut up” moments from Keith and company last night.