Don Wolfensberger at The Hill:

Theme-team messaging is reflected not only in floor speeches but in the type of legislation brought to the floor, often in “sense of the House” resolutions that go nowhere in the Senate. There is little evidence that House televised tactics are changing public views. For one thing, only about 4 percent of the public watches C-SPAN on a regular basis. For another, the news networks get most of their on-air clips from interviews their Hill correspondents conduct outside the chamber with individual members. The in-House debate clips are ordinarily ignored unless there is a fiery exchange on the floor between opposing forces.


Otherwise, the only major exceptions occur during a president’s State of the Union address, when the network pool covering the proceedings picks up on disruptions by members and their cameras zero in on the perpetrators. O’Neill’s warnings about reaction shots have been vindicated in spades.


The larger question today is to what role social media will play in Congress in an electronic morass fraught with misinformation and disinformation. With public approval ratings of Congress dipping into the teens, the warning lights are already flashing red. A wake-up call is long overdue for Congress to reverse its performative antics and get back to legislating for the nation.