CNN blamed “human error” for the surprise explosion of its “Magic” Voting Map on air Election Night and formally apologized to the 9,214 viewers worldwide, according to Nielsen data, who were watching the network feed at the time.
CNN’s Head Honcho, Jeff Zucker, was his usual animated self as he later summarized the evening’s rather unusual events for sleepy reporters:
“Hell, on the good side, at least there weren’t a lot of people watching at the time! Come on, give me a break, I’m an empty corporate suit, not a comedian! Anyway, we knew some liberal technician had tinkered with the map, after John King clicked on Kentucky as Red based on Mitch McConnell’s win, and the map started playing “Send in the Clowns.””
“The control room tried to turn off the music but it kept getting louder, then the map hissed and exploded. Not a large explosion, more like a balloon popping, but it was enough to have us switch overseas to our reporter, Arwa Damon, in the audience at a live taping of the popular Middle Eastern variety show, “Syria’s Got Talent,Too!“”
Zucker went on: “Listen, we were suddenly juggling programming strategies like the Syrian contestant was juggling chainsaws and apples. Before we switched back to US coverage, we painfully jettisoned our $15 million map and pulled out an old blackboard from storage. Thank God someone on staff was an OCD hoarder who had 100 pieces of chalk to get us through. King was okay but Blitzer cried for the rest of the show, and also later, apparently, while drowning his sorrows with 7 or 8 very dry martinis at a nearby pub.”
“By the way, we thought it was especially unprofessional for our rival, Fox, to celebrate the Republican takeover of the Senate with a confetti-filled, Midnight Ticker-Tape Parade down 5th Ave. in Manhattan led by Grand Marshal Ted Nugent, and a flyover by the Blue Angels. I’m no angel myself. When Nugent rode by and gave me the finger I gave it right back to him! I hope he chokes on the confetti!”. .