Pasadena, California — Is politics now a full-time entertainment thing -- on and off the screen?
That might be one conclusion when looking at cable TV networks' content these days. This past weekend at the live Politicon event here, its third year as a conference for all political aficionados, Politicon has grown to some 10,000 attendees. That's up from 5,000 in 2015.
In that light, MSNBC, CNN and other media personalities had a marketing presence to boost efforts for these loyal, engaged political followers.
Billing itself as nonpartisan, Politicon delivered pretty much as expected -- with attendees hollering, cheering, and applauding for a wide range of celebrity political news pundits and commentators from both sides of the aisle.
This included Republican commentator Ann Coulter; Trump associate Roger Stone; and TheBlaze host Tomi Lahren. Also more liberal-leaning types: Ana Kasparian (host of online news show “The Young Turks”); Democratic insider James Carville; actor/director Rob Reiner; and Cenk Uygur (also host from “The Young Turks”).
Ousted Trump Administration director of communications Anthony Scaramucci had been scheduled to attend the event over the weekend. But he was a little preoccupied trying to defend those vulgar remarks to The New Yorker; and as a result, there was his resignation on Monday.
Also a bit of entertainment, as his profane remarks lingered all of last week on TV. This tended to fuel some restless audience attendees at many of the panels.
In a pseudo-debate between Coulter and Kasparian, around a topic of border security, cries of “Build That Wall!” rose in the audience — and then yelps for Kasparian remarks about Obamacare not being repealed.
No doubt comedians added to the political mix -- on TV and online.
All this buzz has spilled over to the daily late-night talk shows -- especially the competitive “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS.
At another Politicon panel, CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed Chelsea Handler, star of “Chelsea” on Netflix, and formerly the E! network's “Chelsea Lately,” which ran from 2007 to 2014.
Tapper mentioned his appearance on Handler's show. But Handler didn't recall it. Tapper said: "It was right after the election; you might have been drunk.” Handler: "If it was right after the election, I was definitely drunk."
Just what the political crowd loves --- on or off the big screen.