Few Glitches During Election-night Coverage

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The television networks kept their promise not to declare a winner until allof the polls closed on the West Coast Tuesday night. Some viewers foundtheir reticence frustrating. In the Chicago Tribune , TV columnistPhil Rosenberg wrote that as he watched he kept "thinking of what it wouldbe like for a weathercaster who shows his audience radar pictures of ahurricane as its heads toward shore but isn't supposed to tell you that italmost certainly will hit the coast." But almost at the stroke of the clockat 11 00 p.m. Eastern Time, the broadcast and cable news programsunanimously declared Barack Obama the winner. Several news anchors appearedto throw restraint to the wind, some even tearing up on camera. On Fox,which had been reporting resurgent support for John McCain in recent days,the reports of Obama's victory in key swing states sounded "funereal" tosome TV columnists. But after Obama's victory address, Fox anchor Brit Humebecame a vocal part of the Obama admiration society. "It really seemspossible that this remarkable man will be someone truly and remarkablydifferent, who can lift us out of the partisan differences that divide us,"Hume said. Later he chided the Republican efforts to paint Obama as aradical sympathizer. "The man who stood and spoke to America the past yearor two was just not somebody that you would look at and say, 'That's aradical.' It just didn't comport," Hume said. Andrew O'Hehir, who writesabout the media for the left-leaning online magazine Salon ,commented, "I'm damned if Fox didn't handle the chore with class andprofessionalism."

05/11/2008


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