View Full Version : The tone of Election night 2012

Colorado Media Newsroom
November 6th, 2012, 10:31 PM
From the Denver Post:


If you ignored the numbers, maps, percentages and exit polls, and concentrated solely on the tone of the TV and cable news teams, the story of Election night 2012 was clear from the start.
Beginning early in the evening, the broadcasters and guest commentators on Fox News looked glum, sounded pessimistic and, led by Bill O’Reilly, started making excuses. (Hurricane Sandy swept Obama into office!) Assuming they had access to more information than we did, the dour tone on Fox indicated things were not going well for Gov. Romney. While the other networks stuck to impartial objectivity, Fox News anchors and guests let themselves sound defeated.
Reporters parsed the county-by-county results, studied the turnout, detailed the demographics and made magic with their wall maps. The amazing amount of detailed information served to put the brakes on, but all viewers really needed to do was listen to the tone, especially on Fox News. Long before anyone was calling the race for Obama, Sarah Palin appeared on Fox News expressing deep disappointment.
Signs of the times: Brian Williams had to shoot down a Twitter rumor about NBC calling the Senate race in Pennsylvania for Elizabeth Warren. “We did nothing of the sort,” he said. NBC eventually did call the state for Warren. The mainstream media can’t keep up with Twitter, and that’s helpful when it comes to accuracy.
The networks battled for Manhattan real estate in the election coverage marketing war, CNN claiming the Empire State Building and NBC taking over Rockefeller Center. Gotta have a gimmick. Katie Couric, once the lead anchor on CBS, was relegated to covering social media for ABC (which syndicates her daytime talk show.) But the manic visuals of 2008 were toned down, thankfully. No holograms, fewer flashing graphics. Just clean and steady.
CBS drew viewers’ ire by “leaning” rather than actually calling races. A way to hedge bets? But Scott Pelley was the model of restraint, as opposed to CNN’s howlin’ Wolf Blitzer, who was over-excited, practically screaming every time a new number was released.
The mood and the tone were easy to catch, particularly if you followed the twitterverse. Election 2012 will be remembered as the night of 20 million tweets. And the network projections that we would be up all night watching a close race were proved wrong.
In the end, the most jaw-dropping television spectacle in ages occurred on Fox News as Karl Rove disputed the network’s own call. When Fox projected President Obama the winner, Rove challenged the networks “decision desk” statisticians, saying there might be more votes to count. It was an odd partisan display. Megyn Kelly and Brent Baier looked mortified.

More... (http://blogs.denverpost.com/ostrow/2012/11/06/tone-election-night-2012/11638/)