The U.S. Constitutional Convention and TV News

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Good evening. This is Katie Couric reporting from Independence Hall, Philadelphia. A disturbing development has occurred during the very first week of the Convention in Philadelphia. It is fairly obvious that most of the delegates are not only conservative; they are also all men, all white, and all men of property. They are businessmen, lawyers, and bankers. Our show this evening will feature interviews with a woman, a small farmer, and an indentured servant – people who have been unceremoniously and undemocratically excluded from this elite assembly of aristocrats.

A major problem is developing in Philadelphia. Brian Williams reporting. The main interest is not who is in Philadelphia; the main interest is who is not in Philadelphia. It seems that several prominent members of our movement for independence are not attending the Convention. They are Thomas Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence, John Adams, Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Patrick Henry of "Give me liberty, or give me death" fame. Patrick Henry was quoted today, as saying he wasn’t attending the Convention because he "smelt a rat."

Diane Sawyer reporting. I have shocking news to report from Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin has resigned as a delegate to the Convention. As you are well aware, this station has carried several reports this summer regarding the allegations that Ben Franklin had several amorous escapades when he was in Paris. In a brief announcement today, Franklin stated that the constant focus on the rumors of his womanizing were distracting the delegates from the business at hand and that he was resigning so that the delegates could focus on the issues.

This is Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room reporting with startling developments in Philadelphia. You should recall that last week the delegates refused to accept our offer to provide live television coverage of the Convention. Based on the word of an unimpeachable source, I have now personally learned that the delegates today voted unanimously to keep their debates secret. Delegate Rufus King, a young attorney from Massachusetts, even suggested that no record be kept of how individual delegates voted on particular issues. King argued that this would give the delegates freedom to change their minds. King also made the incredulous statement that the secrecy provision would guard against the record getting out to the public and embarrassing individual members.

Good evening. Chris Matthews on Hardball reporting on the Convention’s vote of secrecy today. Thomas Jefferson, the Ambassador to France, is apparently outraged at this development. Jefferson said it was an abominable precedent to tie up "the tongues of the members." Jefferson was also angry because it would prevent him from getting the news in a timely fashion. It appears the people’s right to know has become their right to know nothing.

Brit Hume reporting on the latest shocking developments in Philadelphia. An alarming undemocratic tone among the delegates is casting a pallor over the proceedings. Delegates made the following statements today. Alexander Hamilton, described the people as "a great beast." Roger Sherman of Connecticut said the people "should have a little to do as may be about the government." In a totally incomprehensible statement, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts complained that the evils that beset America "flow from an excess of democracy."

This is Jorge Ramos reporting for Premier Impacto. We have learned today from a high ranking Convention delegate that George Washington will resign as Convention Chairman. Washington’s resignation comes on the heels of the Ethics Commission’s report that his substantial speculation in western lands for profit is a conflict of interest with his recognized desire for a stronger national government. This follows last week’s revelation by our investigative reporter that the human interest story "of George chopping down his father’s cherry tree when he was a little boy" was a complete fabrication which was made up by his public relations firm.

This is Keith Olbermann on Countdown. The delegates in Philadelphia are setting a terrible attendance record. It seems that a total of 74 delegates were appointed, representing all states except Rhode Island. However, only 55 showed up and only 30 are regularly attending. I have it from a senior official that only 39 delegates are expected to sign the Convention’s report. The delegates are setting a terrible example for our school children. They are not setting a lesson in democracy; they are becoming a problem in democracy.

Good evening. Bill O’Reilly on the O’Reilly Factor. The big breaking story from Philadelphia concerns the revelation by the Anti-Federalists that the Convention delegates are exceeding their authority.

The Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation called a Convention to meet in Philadelphia in 1787 "for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation." It now appears that the delegates, under the leadership of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, have exceeded their charge and are in the process of actually drafting a new Constitution.

We have learned that Alexander Hamilton, who considers the British form of government the best in the world, wants to create a "vigorous executive", call a President. Additionally, they plan to give Congress the power to levy taxes, to coin money, and to regulate commerce. I have also learned that Article I, Section 8 of this new Constitution even gives Congress the power to pass laws "necessary and proper" to carry out other previously granted powers. It seems that we have merely changed the dictatorship of King George III for another form of dictatorship.

Good evening. This is Larry King Live. There is a stunning development in Philadelphia. Amidst charges that they were abusing their powers by attempting to draft a new Constitution, the delegates at the Convention resigned en masse and returned to their homes. With me in the studio are two of the leading Anti-Federalists, Sam Adams and John Hancock. Gentlemen, your comments. "Hamilton and his monarchial crew have been defeated. Democracy has been preserved." "This was a perfidious attempt to establish a federal government that bordered on dictatorship. The people have triumphed."

Thank you gentlemen. Now for the sports and weather.

(Charles L. Kennedy is a Senior Instructor of Political Science at Penn State York.
He may be reached at [email protected])