Many unresolved issues linger in the wake of the Nov. 4 election. At least six U.S. House and Senate races remain too close to call.
Most famously, erstwhile comedian Al Franken seems to be closing in on Sen. Norm Coleman as Minnesotans keep finding uncounted ballots in various nooks and corners.
Florida no longer looks so singularly stupid when it comes to tallying up elections.
Of course, the one great unanswered question has less to do with the election than the election coverage. While most of America mistook the historic nature of Nov. 4 as the dramatic election of a black man as president, the networks decided the historic firsts would be in the form of whiz-bob ding-a-ling gadgetry.
Fox News gave us virtual reality studios, with a giant mappy touch-screen that proved to be a bit touchy indeed, not always responding to the correspondents’ sweating fingers.
NBC offered its own version of virtual reality, having decided that reality, even in the most dramatic election of our lifetime, just wasn’t good enough. NBC projected a giant map of the United States, in its red and blue schizophrenia, onto an ice rink at Rockefeller Center. It was obviously a metaphor but meta-for-what, I have not a clue.
Ah, but it was CNN that signaled the triumph of modernity over the anachronistic notions of brainy talking heads over on PBS. CNN beamed a three-dimensional hologram of reporter Jessica Yellin so she could cozy up to Wolf Blitzer in the network’s New York studio. This despite the fact that Yellin was actually in Chicago.
It was a good thing, for the watching audience, that Yellin is a slender reed of a reporter. The hologram added bulk in the way of a glowing border of fuzzy light around her body. Very sci-fi. And much like the like dream I once had of having an intimate visit from Nicole Kidman, bathed in light. Nicole, that is. Not me. I was bathed in drool.
But, back to CNN, Wolf was able to sidle up next to Jessica, who, I’m sure in real life, would slap the leering old anchor man up the side of his head for getting too close.
When the dawn broke on the following day, the great question of the 2008 election remained. And it lingers still. Can you sexually harass a hologram?