CNN's Election Night Blog Party

Posted on November 4, 2006

An L.A. Times article says CNN is hosting an "E-lection Nite Blog Party" that will feature bloggers blogging about the elections. The article says the Blog Party will feature bloggers from top liberal and conservative blogs. It will be hosted by CNN reporters Jacki Schechner and Abbi Tatton. One of CNN's Pipeline cameras will remain focsued on the Blog Party.
The cable news network plans to host more than two dozen bloggers from across the political spectrum - including sites like RedState and Daily Kos - at a Washington Internet lounge where they can monitor the election returns on a slew of flat-screen televisions. (Each blogger will get his or her own monitor, which can be tuned to any channel.) There will be free wireless access � and plenty of food and beverages, natch.

CNN Internet reporters Jacki Schechner and Abbi Tatton have been assigned to cover the gathering and provide regular updates on the air about the topics that are generating the most chatter.

"Bloggers are leading the conversation," said David Bohrman, CNN's Washington bureau chief. "You could argue that most of the political dialogue in this country is happening online, so if you don't incorporate that into your coverage, you're missing a major element."
Tom Tomorrow at This Modern World says the idea of on-camera typing is "just painful."
Seriously, you don't ask newspaper columnists to sit in front of a laptop and write their columns on air, and we're way past the point that bloggers should have to humiliate themselves like that in order to get a few seconds of airtime. This isn't 2002, we all know what blogs are. If bloggers have something to contribute to the conversation, let them sit at a roundtable on election eve and contribute their thoughts like any other opinion writer, without treating them like teenagers at a TV dance party circa 1962 who need to be lured into the studio with "plenty of food and beverages, natch."
Tomorrow makes a good point. We did see a lot of bloggers typing madly at keyboards during the 2002 and 2004 elections. Hopefully, this time around CNN will treat the bloggers more like pundits and ask them their opinions instead of just following what they are typing. At least the bloggers get their own video stream on CNN Pipeline.