07 May 2008

The Beard and the Board

So I was very entertained last night by the frustration of CNN reporters Wolf Blitzer and John King--or the "Beard and Board," as I like to call them. Lake Co., Indiana didn't report very quickly, which was a legitimate problem that Jeffrey Toobin (whom I like more and more every time he speaks) pointed out early in the broadcast.

The Board was getting irritated because he was running out of ways to dramatically zoom in on Lake Co. and finally took to electronic finger-painting (which he rather sheepishly erased when they cut back to him). The Beard was likely getting cranky because he wanted to get home to the real Situation Room--a 180-degree home theater that plays looped episodes of Grizzly Adams with an IV hookup for mainlining the tears of Katie Couric.

They finally got the mayor of Gary, IN on the phone and asked him what was going on. He gave a non-answer, so the Beard and even the Board repeatedly asked again and again. As the exasperated mayor kept giving the same non-answer, the undercurrent of these questions quickly became clear: "we are trying to make good TV out of this, and your slow vote-counting is making us look bad."

CBS called Indiana for Clinton very early (about 6.30pm here on the west coast), and CNN didn't call it until much later (about 10pm here). That certainly made CNN look bad compared to all-but-defunct CBS News, and you could hear the panic in the questioning of that poor bastard. The Beard and the Board were raking this guy over the coals in their frustration, as if it were his fault they ran out of stuff to talk about and only had cornbread to eat (and, of course, the Beard couldn't eat the cornbread for fear of getting crumbs in his lush swath of meticulously-groomed, virile, ivory face-mane).

At the end of the night, Clinton won and Obama lost; there's only so much "news" in that--especially since CNN et al. were telling us for the last week that was what was going to happen. There are only so many graphical representations of that we can care about and only so many mayors we can listen to. I will let Charlie Rose and Bill Moyers tell me who to vote for; I only need CNN to tell me who everyone else voted for. If they can't do that in a timely manner, it devolves into masturbatory theater loosely based on a political race. (Theater that I'll still watch because I have a man-crush on David Gergen).

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