Almost half an hour later, CBS polling guru Kathleen Frankovic went into detail about why it was still impossible to give Pennsylvania to either candidate.
But last night, a little journalistic derring-do paid off in an election with more typical, and not as close, results than the last two.
Cable news was almost unwatchable for people with high-definition TVs. The degradation of picture quality overrode any bell or whistle the cable news outlets offered.
The cable folderol was so distracting, it may actually have shown up better on low-definition sets.
CNN, for instance, looked like a blowsy tart, with red, white and blue smeared all over the screen and more desks and commentators than there were dining tables and passengers on the Titanic. Was that a barber pole in the middle of the set?
Shazam! There was songster will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas, in a Hol.O.Gram! And, pray tell, CNN, what does that have to do with electoral votes in Iowa?
Exit polls were kept under wraps until 5 p.m., but by 6, Fox News' Megyn Kelly had some revealing analysis: 72 percent of new voters favored Obama; 20 percent of them were African American, 60 percent of them were under 30.
Her information was accompanied by numbers lit up by "my trusty launch pad," she announced. "Check out this technology," she boasted to Fox News anchor Brit Hume.
With all the controversy about voter fraud, the cable news channels spent all day looking for irregularities, without a whole lot of luck.
"Major glitches have been scarce," Katie Couric reported at the top of The CBS Evening News at 6:30 p.m.
Later, on Fox News, Juan Williams commented about the controversy: "It's like a balloon that the air went out of it."
Still, during the day, the cable news channels have tons of time to fill. Fox's Shepard Smith got excited about a possible "scuffle" between New Black Panther Party operatives in Philadelphia and the network's Rick Leventhal, who was fast to the scene in Fox's "QRV vehicle."
That means "Quick Response Vehicle vehicle." You could probably call it a "car," but that wouldn't fit the techno-tastic thrust that was everywhere on TV yesterday.
There wasn't even a verbal scuffle, but the incident gave Fox analyst Karl Rove the chance to state his belief that there are more registered voters in our city than there are adults.
"They play politics pretty rough in Philadelphia," said Rove.
Before the sun went down, the cablers had pundits and politicians making predictions. You don't have to be a pundit to understand what a total waste of time that is.
Former New York mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani confidently predicted victory for McCain at 4 p.m. on Fox.
"Either way, this is a historic election," he told NBC's Brian Williams five hours later, going on to discuss the importance of all Americans coming together beginning today in support of the new president.
Or maybe a few days from now, after they recover from campaign coverage overload.
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