Election Night Coverage: Early Calls

From Variety TV Critic Brian Lowry:

As always, cable networks in particular found themselves with more time than they could soberly fill — and seemingly more determined than ever not to relinquish audience to competitors. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC all continued to run their on-screen news crawls throughout commercial breaks, creating L-shaped blocks of numbers and text around the shrunken ads.

During those hours anchors and analysts endeavored to be cautious — as they pledged in pre-election interviews — but several had a difficult time not referring to an Obama presidency as if it were a fait accompli. Fox News’ Brit Hume, for example, gently chided Morton Kondracke not to get ahead of the discussion in the half-hour before any of the state voting had concluded.

The first calls — neither a surprise, of Vermont for Obama and Kentucky to McCain, respectively — came moments after the polls closed in those states, with CNN playing a musical fanfare to signify that a state was being called.

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