Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Coverage from the Future

Waiting for election results can be BORING. The televised presentation of those results as brought to you by for-profit competitive news organizations can also be BORING. That's why this year they really jazzed it up! This wasn't your old time election night results broadcast, NO! It wasn't enough to have just a touch screen displaying the red and blue speckled map of the U.S. This year it was an entire virtual reality with holograms and garish columned, imaginary spaces much like what I drew in my 5th grade sketch book entitled "The Future Times." CNN very literally pulled their gaudy future-cast from the hologram scenes in Star Wars. Correspondents would beam in much like Princess Laya to discuss the electoral college. It was crazy! Where ever they were in the world they could just beam right into the studio and it was like they were there! Except, in order to achieve this effect they'd have to have a massive green screen set up and cameras mounted on robot jibs. So, in all likelihood, they were there. They were probably 20 feet or so from AC 360 pretending to be somewhere out in the world. And it isn't like AC 360's pale skin, perfectly chiseled face, bizarrely white hair, and metallic blue eyes don't make him look like some sort of albinoed form of a-sexual future snake-human. Here he is among the Undabelli Tribe in PLANET IN PERIL:

You cut him and he bleeds blue oil.

But it wasn't just CNN. MSNBC had an entire virtual room. It was vast and columned. A correspondent would stand at a fake 3-D podium and refer to a giant interactive glass wall behind him that displayed the known projected results of each state. Except the glass wall didn't exist, except in what seemed to be a dimension co-designed by the art directors of Gladiator and Tron. I couldn't find a picture of it, but it was breathtaking. The floor had what appeared to be excerpts from the constitution inscribed in it's virtual marble, and those spun around the correspondent as he referred to the imaginary images on the virtual wall.

I think the problem here is that broadcast news thought that they were up against some tough odds with this election being so historic. How do you compete with the possibility of a first ever black president, or a first ever children-eating, witch VP? You whip out a virtual reality, I guess. When I look back at historic moments in broadcast journalism, I think about the Murrows,the Cronkites, and even the Rathers. When we look back at this election coverage, it will be seen as a farce - hosted by a really short,albino android.


Laser McNeal said...

Good point! If they want to spice it up they should sex it up! Maybe following in the foot steps of The Naked News or those Direct TV commercials where they put actors in movies and change up the scene. Like the one where Christie Brinkley is skinny dipping in the pool and Chevy Chase jumps in. They could do that except make these older celebrities look hot and sexy and do sexy time things. They could also add in explosions and kick boxing. I mean come on, I have a short attention span and News is boring! Do they think fake sets are going to make it better. Maybe it could, but there has to be more explosions also!