Monday, October 27, 2008

CNN-TV: The "Magic Map" and Angry Joe

by Christina London

It seems like it's been going on forever, but can you believe that the presidential election is only one week away? CNN is ready...and the people there want you to know they're ready. This week, the Cable News Network has devoted quite a bit of airtime to explaining exactly how it plans to cover election results.

That Magical Map
In my opinion, CNN has always been the most innovative among the networks when it comes to covering Election Night. But next Tuesday, it will take interactive election coverage to new heights with what is being called the "Magic Map." It's basically an enormous touch-screen picture of the United States; whenever CNN's John King touches a particular state, the map zooms in and gives him all the important election information about that state.

Some people are giving CNN flak for the map, including those over at Saturday Night Live:

So is the "Magic Map" a useful tool for conveying information, or is it just overkill? Personally, I think the map will be effective, especially for visual learners. I also like the fact that viewers can "play along" at home. With the Electoral Calculator, people can update their maps after CNN calls each state and can even create "what if" scenarios by turning any state red or blue.

"Are you joking?"

It seemed like every CNN talk show this weekend was discussing Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden. It's because of an interview Biden did with Barbara West of WFTV in Florida on Saturday. During the Q and A, West quoted Karl Marx and asked, "How is Obama not being a Marxist if he plans to spread the wealth around?" To this, Biden laughed and asked, "Is that a real question?" Take a look:

Monday night on Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper posed the question, who was out of line: the politician or the news anchor? In my opinion, it was West. If you watch the whole interview, you'll see that she was trying to get Biden to argue. For instance, she asked, "Aren't you embarrassed by the blatant attempts to register phony voters by ACORN, an organization that Barack Obama has been tied to in the past?" The way she phrased this question really makes her appear biased. She should have asked, "What is your take on the ACORN situation?" or "I know Barack Obama has been tied to ACORN in the do you feel about the current controversy?" In my view, she came into the interview with a "I'm gonna get him" attitude, not a neutral approach, as a journalist should.

What do you think? Do you think Biden or West or both acted inappropriately?

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