As you may have heard, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis took to the floor of her state’s Senate chamber last night and filibustered her way straight into America’s heart, blocking a vote on a bill — one that was sure to pass — that would have enacted some of the most restrictive anti-abortion measures in the country. And if you spent any time at all on social media last night, your feeds were probably inundated with Wendy Davis-related posts, as her marathon effort became the talk of the internet. It was one of those rare communal moments late at night on a weeknight where it felt like literally everyone online was watching the same thing — in this case streaming footage of Davis’ speech — and sharing thoughts on it. It didn’t matter which side of the debate you were on, what was playing out before our eyes was utterly compelling and felt like a moment for the history books in the making.
But you know where it was absolutely nowhere to be found? Anywhere on cable news!
That’s right, as Davis’ filibuster was reaching its climax — between the hours of 11 and midnight central time — there wasn’t anything to be found about it on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC. Instead, each cable new network chose to rerun episodes of Hannity, Piers Morgan Tonight and the Rachel Maddow Show.
Meanwhile, over 150,000 people watched some of the best real life political theater in modern American history — complete with a heroic figure to many at the center, a chamber filled to the brim with screaming supporters and protesters, shady bad guy politicians engaged in real-time dirty shenanigans — play out live via streaming video. It was like something we usually see take place within the parliaments of foreign governments, completely atypical of the boring, staid political institutions we have here in the U.S. I had friends text/email/tweet saying that they were moved to tears at various points. It was, quite simply, a moment. But if you weren’t on the internet, you likely wouldn’t have known it was going on, though you would have known all about the healthiness of blueberry muffins if you were tuned to CNN.
However, if there were a sh*t-filled cruise ship adrift at sea last night, you can bet your ass we’d have been treated to wall-to-wall live coverage of it. Because, you know, that’s just what we need, along with more people screaming at each other.
Take it away, kid…
But hey, on the bright side, at least we have Wendy Davis now!
(Pics via Wendy Davis For Senate)