Watching a political convention on television is like watching the Super Bowl. It's a day of features, analysis and interviews capped off by just a few notable moments during the "game.''
This week, we'll sit through hours of drab preview coverage just to get to the important bits — in this case, speeches by the likes of Ann Romney, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Ryan and, of course, Mitt Romney.
The networks have all this time to fill, so we listen to why this candidate or that is going to be great/awful for the country. Analysts tell us what we should think of the last speech. Pundits tell us what the next speaker is going to say. Then we hear what we should think about what the next speaker is going to say.
Everything leading up to the headline speeches can be boring and monotonous. But here is what got us through Wednesday's "pregame show.''
The best interview of the night was brief — only three minutes. But NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams made the most of that time with Ann Romney in her first interview since her speech Tuesday night.
Williams was respectful but didn't lob softballs. He asked Romney, who seemed a tad nervous, about Chris Christie's me-me-me speech on Tuesday, as well as other issues that didn't simply allow her to put forth her husband's platform.
I wasn't crazy about Williams shaking hands on camera with Romney and wishing her good luck on the campaign trail (a simple "thank you for your time'' would have sufficed), but that's nitpicking. If you're looking for an interviewer, you can't do better than Williams.
If Williams' sit-down with Mrs. Romney was like a New York Times interview (smart, classy, respectful, intelligent) then the interview of CNN's Piers Morgan with Michele Bachmann was like a New York Post (aggressive, sassy, slightly hostile and deliciously fun). Morgan peppered Bachmann, who deftly held her own. She closed by talking about how impressed she was with Ann Romney's speech from Tuesday.
"Why don't we end on a happy note,'' Morgan said. "Finally, we agree on something.''
If you're a Republican, you love him. If you're a Democrat, you loathe him. But if you're a TV host, you probably want to be him: Fox's Bill O'Reilly, who was live from Tampa. You can disagree with his politics, but you can't disagree with this: He knows how to do TV.