With millions of eyes watching CNN for election results tonight, the network really couldn’t afford any high-profile screwups. But unfortunately, that’s exactly what they got when John King tapped his touchscreen electoral map too hard and plunged himself straight into a digital hellscape from which there seems to be no escape.
Ouch. That’s some major egg on CNN’s face!
The night appeared to be going smoothly in the network’s Washington studio, until King tried to zoom in on a breakdown map of crucial Ohio swing districts. When the map seemed to freeze up, a frustrated King tapped the Magic Wall with enough force that his whole arm plunged through the suddenly fluid surface of the screen. Before Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper could step in, he had been fully engulfed in a vast virtual expanse of colorful, swirling data.
With millions of Americans tuning in to watch the results of this historic election, CNN has been forced to press on even as they try to free John King from the computerized map. A noticeably emotional Wolf Blitzer mouthed the words “I’m sorry” to his imprisoned colleague before tapping the board to call up a gender breakdown of likely Oregon voters, the bar graph of which animated right into John King’s spine, launching nearly all the way to the mid-Atlantic states.
If CNN producers thought that they had stabilized the situation by urging King to take refuge in the bottom corner of the screen, it did not take long for them to realize how wrong they were. When Connecticut was called for Hillary Clinton, the trapped John King was also turned entirely blue and let loose a horrible scream as if he were being burned alive. This level of panic was matched moments later when King tried to fend off a ravenous piece of malware with just his loafer, only for the shoe to shatter into pixels that the code devoured.
Yikes. CNN will be wondering for a while how this all went so wrong, and on their biggest night, too.
With plenty of states left to declare tonight, there’s still time for King to be rescued from the computerized nightmare. But with uploading a JPEG of a ladder for him to climb up and trying to shepherd him onto a thumb drive having already failed to return King to the studio, CNN may be running out of options.
No matter how this shakes out, it’s clear CNN has a MAJOR technology fail on their hands. Then again, this is just what happens when anchors play with tech toys without reading the instructions. Well, better luck in 2020, guys.