Apologies for the quality of the above screengrab. It’s a screenshot of NBC’s electoral map on the iconic ice rink at Rockefeller Plaza – or, as NBC has been calling it on election night, Democracy Plaza. When each state breaks for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, a crew brings out a color coded overlay of the state and installs it on the ice. NBC anchor Brian Williams calls this crew “Ice Team Zebra.” Journalism, y’all!
In fact, several networks have unfurled a high concept gimmick to illustrate the evening’s ongoing results. NBC has also placed two window washer carts on the facade of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, one each measuring Obama and Romney’s electoral college votes. CNN, meanwhile, is representing the electoral college via lights at the top of the Empire State Building, as well as “ballot cams” at polling places throughout the country. ABC, meanwhile, has given veteran journalist and current daytime talk show host Katie Couric the job of social media expert, so she’s basically ABC News’ Ryan Seacrest. The more staid CBS News has taken to saying a state is “leaning” or “likely” for a presidential candidate before calling for him outright. And pretty much everyone has some kind of giant Minority Report-style touchscreen map.
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