They’ve done it again. Wolf Blitzer gets all excited hyping up some new technology innovation that they will introduce in a few days, followed by a lame, useless gadget that doesn’t work very well and adds nothing to covering an event.
A few months ago it was the “hologram”, where people were made to look like they were standing in the studio instead of actually being at an events site. Because obviously the idea that someone in the studio can talk to someone at the event over a video link is too confusing. Thank goodness they could replace that with someone in the studio talking to someone at the event who looks like they are in the studio but really isn’t. I wonder what the next iteration would bring? Perhaps if they combined it with regular scheduled airline travel technology they could introduce a person in the studio speaking to another person who was actually in the studio!
Now, it is the stupid picture combining technology. I actually just saw the presenter press a few buttons to “get from this picture with Kennedy smiling to this picture a few seconds away where he isn’t smiling”, and making a big deal about it. I wouldn’t think that a cable news channel would need to be reminded about video technology, but there you go.
I don’t think he could actually see the reporter next to him, that’s just how it looked to the audience. Blitzer had to look across the studio to a monitor, like he would have if he was speaking to a non-“holographic” reporter.
ETA: Since this is about a TV network, I’m going to send it to Cafe Society.
I think someone at CNN must realize that it is ridiculous.
The build up before and the fawning over the technology during make it even more comical. Anderson Cooper is the only saving grace here, he seems embarrassed by it too, and has made fun of Wolf Blitzer’s introductions at least once (“is it a hologram?” in reaction to the satellite view of the inauguration).
The best thing was John King with the satellite view of the Mall, making it switch back-and-forth between December, when nobody was there, and today, with crowds of people. Somehow he thought this was cutting-edge technology. Or magic.
It isn’t the technology itself. I think the photo stitching thing in general is pretty cool. That said, it didn’t do anything useful in the context of inaugural coverage on cable news. It was embarrassing to see the presenter rave about how cool the technology was only to be subjected to him struggling to get it to work: “Oh, I just zoom in like this, oh that is too much, let me try this, nope, and we can move here, oh that didn’t work either”. Regular TV coverage was just so much more useful. Likewise for the hologram thing.
I thought they went a little crazy with all the line drawing and whizzing around with the wall thing for the election coverage, but in general it worked well and was pretty useful at showing what was going on. But the other things, combined with the ineptness, just made CNN look really lame.
Reminds me of one of my all time favorite Letterman gags. From back on his NBC show during a prop-bit called the museum of broadcasting or something. It was just this podium with a B&W photo of Wolf Blitzer with a real-life fake beard glued to it. Letterman approached it, and a disembodied voice said, “Please, trim my beard. Please, trim my beard”. Letterman takes the pair of scissors attached to the thing with a cord like in a real museum, trims a little, and the voice says, “Thank you”.