Bob Schieffer: Why Can’t Sports Be Like Politics?

CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer (10/31/10) explained on Sunday that he hates the way college football’s Bowl Championship Series works–mostly because the computer model doesn’t give smaller schools a chance to compete for a national championship. Fair enough–criticism of the BCS system is plentiful. But Schieffer bizarrely went on to argue that our political system doesn’t work that way: “Aren’t you glad that even though our system isn’t perfect, we still finish our elections the right way? We vote.”

He goes on to explainother ways our politics are nothing at all likecollege football:

What the BCS really is, of course, is all about money. It’s controlled by the big schools who want only the big schools in the bowl games because they believe they’ll get the biggest TV ratings.

You’re asking now, why is he off on this rant? Well, it’s very simple. I went to TCU, a smaller school with a very good team this year, and we want to play the big guys. But even if we go undefeated, we may not get that chance. The computers will decide our fate.

If we did our politics like that, computers would decide who wins our elections, maybe based on the strength of their opponents or their positions. And maybe there would be style points for the best yard signs. But we don’t do it that way, thank goodness.

Yes, thank goodness we don’t have a political system that’s all about money, that discourages the participation of small parties and obsesses over trivialike yard signs. That would be horrible.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.