A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
By Nina Pajak
As soon as I did it, I regretted it.
I turned on CNN on Tuesday night.
My stress levels instantly hit the roof. Graphics and maps and meaningless numbers flew across my screen at an alarming rate. John King was yelling about voting percentages by ideology according to exit polls, flinging virtual charts across his touch screen with abandon and shouting out figures like carnival busker playing a fast-and-loose (highly sophisticated) shell game.
“Big night for Romney among conservatives! Obama only gets 5 percent of the Republican vote according to exit polls of 60 percent of voters with 23 percent of the districts reporting in 14 percent of the states, compared to last year this is astounding! In Florida, 68 percent of 18-29 year olds with 48 percent Republican parents who are 45-62 voted for Obama! This is all too early, PAY NO ATTENTION TO THESE NUMBERS YET,” he yelled as he did a little softshoe and juggled a few pie charts over his head.
I think it’s possible CNN’s Election Center hired MLB’s baseball statisticians to moonlight in the off-season. A girl could go fully insane watching this stuff. She did. She’s me. I’ve lost it, and two days later, I haven’t found it.
Wolf Blitzer led a dramatic and significant countdown to an incredibly slow dribble of mostly useless information. 9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1: a handful of predicted (and predictable) electoral votes, then more exit polls! Then, nothing. Um, hey, Candy Crowley’s at the Romney base camp! They are saying the Pledge of Allegiance! Let’s countdown to something else now. That was fun.
I found myself feeling increasingly nauseous and my pulse quickened as I watched them color in individual districts in states that were far from fully reported. What does it mean that a single county in Colorado voted for Obama two hours before their polls closed? WHAT. DOES. IT. MEAN???
At a certain point, I realized I could only direct so much anger at the television before I needed to turn the critical lens onto myself for being a total dummy who allowed herself to creep closer and closer to a heart attack rather than just changing the stupid channel.
So I changed the stupid channel. It took 20 minutes of Law & Order SVU and two double-stuf Oreos injected directly into my bloodstream before my heart rate slowed to normal levels.
Of course, I kept a close watch on my Twitter feed, which I determined could provide just as much half-information and double the humor as any television network. I allowed myself to switch to other news sources only when states were being called in earnest, and not with 87 percent left unreported. I have absolutely no idea how a person who doesn’t use the Internet keeps up with these things without going berserk. Can you imagine having to wait until Wednesday morning’s newspaper headlines? O. M. G. I only stayed on the election coverage after the election itself was declared over. It helped that my guy won. I’d imagine if I was a Romney voter, Law & Order would have been on all night, and there wouldn’t have been enough double-stuf Oreos on the Upper West Side to keep me calm.
Here’s hoping we can all work together for the next four years, and that I never allow myself to get tricked into watching John King and Wolf Blitzer on election night ever, ever again.
Drunk Diane Sawyer, on the other hand, is welcome into my living room any old time.