The Best Holographic Team on Television

As you all know, last Tuesday was a historic night for America. That night, for the very first time ever, a hologram appeared on CNN. Sure, a black man was elected President for the first time also, but let's not forget the holograms who had previously been relegated to cheesy sci-fi movies and British sitcoms. Now, though, as never before, holograms were on a serious and respected news program. Well, sort of serious and respected.

The first hologram was of CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin who was really in Chicago for Obama's speech but looked like she was standing right next to Wolf Blitzer in New York, albeit in a somewhat purple hue. Was this technology necessary? Probably not, but don't knock it. As Wolf Blitzer put it, with this "we can have a little bit more of an intimate conversation, and our viewers can enjoy that." If all else fails, it's at least a good way for Wolf Blitzer to get dates.

Luckily, Yellin already made the Princess Leia joke, so I don't have to. I do feel a little bad for all the CNN correspondents though, who looked like they thought the whole thing was just as ridiculous as the rest of us.

CNN has become like your Dad in a high-tech store. They want to buy everything they see. Of course, it's not entirely their fault. I'm willing to bet somebody at Best Buy told them that their regular reporters would stop working after the switchover to digital TV in February. Nevertheless, all the fancy technology apparently worked. CNN had the highest ratings of any network on election night, and that's not even counting the holograms who were watching.

This, of course, means one other very important thing. Wolf Blitzer can now totally work from home.

"I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the Situation Room, and I'm in my kitchen."

This is going to be great for the talent at CNN. At first, the impact on viewers will be minimal. Initially, I'm sure Wolf will still dress up in suits and look like a professional, but after a few weeks we all know that his hologram will start showing up on television slightly disheveled. By next year, he'll be hosting his show in his pajamas and possibly a sleeping cap.

"Coming up in just a few minutes, the mail is expected to arrive. We want you to know we'll be watching the mail slot very closely."

I'm hoping to use this same technology so that I can work from home too, but I suspect I might need to hire a temp to help me open my filing cabinets.

I guess this is all progress, but I'm worried that eventually reporters might forget to turn off their holograms. You'll be watching CNN one day and behind the anchors Larry King will wander by in just his boxers and suspenders.

"Larry, you forgot to turn off your hologram again!"

As for the other networks, they didn't have any holograms, although the people on Fox were clearly phoning it in. However, they did all have their share of new gadgets.  For example, everyone now has a magic wall, like the one John King uses on CNN to zoom in on specific counties.

I, for one, love the magic wall. I'm glad to see other networks using the same technology, though most weren't nearly as good with it as John King. There was a lot of "Well, let me just hit that again to bring up Ohio. Where are you, Ohio? Sorry, sometimes these things are slow to react. Okay, I'm just going to hit it again. And once more, you God damn freakin' magic wall.... Oh, there it is. Hello, Ohio."

As I flipped around, I even landed on one station whose wall seemed stuck in 2004 for awhile, where George Bush was winning handily. I don't remember which channel, but it was probably Fox News.

Meanwhile, on MSNBC, there were virtual rooms, where reporters stood in empty spaces and pointed at graphics that weren't really there. This technology is perfect for showing virtual news that doesn't really exist. "Obama didn't actually say what McCain says he said, but let's put it up on our virtual news board anyway."

At any rate, meteorologists of the world should rejoice. The same skill set you use to point to Idaho on a green screen can now get you a job covering the world of politics. And chances are, you won't need to worry about improving your forecasting skills at all.

    A periodic humor column, disguised as a blog. New columns published on Tuesdays or not as the case may be.


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