‘I still don’t know what the hell this thing does,’ the CNN election coverage

A little after 1:30 am EST all hell broke loose on CNN. They went from magic wall to magic wall, playing with all their gadgets, filling as much time as they could, with results no where in sight.

First John King broke down county after county, comparing numbers that viewers had seen too many times. We know, in 2008, a candidate took this county. Then Erin Burnett played with her two monitors, which she nicknamed the “flick wall” as she always flicked them at the end. Unfortunately, this time it didn’t work and it was a “flick fail.”

Then finally, the wheels came off the gadget and gizmo laden coverage. Anderson Cooper and Ali Velshi were at the Social Media Screen:

“Again with the social media screen? This is the third hit and I still don’t understand what the hell this thing shows!”

In one quick quip, Cooper explained what many viewers also probably thought.

Why does it take so many gadgets and magic walls to explain an election? Why does it take 4 touch screens? Why can MSNBC do it with one? How did pundits and analysis ever calls elections 12 years ago?

What technology did they use? A whiteboard!


Velshi then chimed in: “Everybody put your cellphones off and stop talking!”

After some analysis of how social media was slowing down (maybe because it was 2 in the morning) they went to break. When they returned Wolf Blitzer had only one thing to say, “I can only say three letters, OMG.” The votes had narrowed to a one vote lead.

To cap it all off, Cooper began to talk with the analysts and microphones were left open and then some failed, “Yeah that’s right, it’s 2 am. Welcome to public access channel 13.”

How the times have changed since the Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert era.

Technology has taken over some networks coverage of the elections, not really aiding the viewers, but trying to out do the other networks. Does the public really care?

Does the public tune in because CNN has more “magic” than Fox?

Update: Mediaite has the video!