Election Night: NBC (Part 1)
by Joel Keller, posted Nov 4th 2008 9:20PM
Thankfully, NBC has decided once again to do different election coverage than their kissing cousins at MSNBC. So instead of David Gregory trying to moderate slap fights between Keith Olbermann, Joe Scarborough, and Chris Matthews, we get the relatively dignified analysis of Brian Williams, Chuck Todd, Tom Brokaw, Andrea Mitchell and Ann Curry. Whew. Looks like I selected the right network.
Some observations from the first couple of hours of coverage:
- Chuck Todd really has to shave his goatee. Yes, it was nice for awhile. But he might be the host of Meet the Press after this election is over; how can any one take him seriously with that "look, Ma, I can grow a beard!" look?
- Ann Curry is doing exit polling in a green room. Not a green screen, mind you, but an entire green room. It's freaky. Williams wanted to assure us that Curry was safe from those flying graphics. Nice of him.
- Does Williams have to remind us of his blue-collar, fire-fightin', hard-drinkin' past at every turn? "It's probably not a good thing that I know where Finnegans' Wake (a bar in Philly that's Obama's HQ there) is" he says to Mike Taibbi. Thanks for the insight into your past, Bri.
- From the girlfriend: "I think Harold Ford Jr. is a cutie patootie."
- Speaking of Ford: why is Ford so blatantly partisan while Mike Murphy is playing it down the middle like he has during the entire campaign? Murphy's done a great job with his analysis, especially since he used to work for McCain.
- Tavis Smiley! The girlfriend didn't know what he looked like; she only knows him from NPR. I only know him from PBS. Ah, the differences in life...
- Luke Russert standing in front of a college crowd: "I feel like Tom Brokaw in front of the Berlin Wall in '89." That, by the way, was when Russert the Younger was 4 years old. Sigh. Where's my cane?
- I miss Tim Russert. They keep using his 2000 signature whiteboard motif but with a vitrual whiteboard displayed behind Chuck Todd's head. It's not the same, even when he writes "Bush Bush Bush" (a tribute to Russert's "Florida Florida Florida" in 2000).
- If you're watching on HD or online, you see the screen above. Talk about information overload! All of those bars change to different views every 20 seconds or so. It makes FOX sports broadcasts look barren by comparison.
- The girlfriend about "Election Plaza":"When are they breaking out the Zamboni?"
- PA called very early for Obama. So early that the McCain rep refuses to believe he's lost the state yet.