As longtime readers know, whenever a big news event is likely to yield a ton of frantic hype from your cable news networks, we like to bring you the highlights in one brief mediagasm mash-up video. It's our way of giving you the experience of watching hours of cable news without having to experience the attendant soul-trauma. And Tuesday night's Iowa caucus coverage did not disappoint. With the race knotted for the length of the evening and the final results not known until after two in the morning, your on-air pundits and anchors had little to do other than gradually run out of things to talk about and soak themselves in their own uncertainty.
Over at Fox News, when the pundit panels weren't cheerily ghostwriting Rick Perry's epitaph, they were helping Bill Kristol recover from his lingering disappointment that Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels didn't get into the race, leaving him with Mitt Romney. And late into the night, a group of Romney supporters, realizing that they should make some sort of ersatz on-air celebration, randomly and suddenly flooded a room behind Carl Cameron, momentarily terrifying everyone that some sort of Occupy protest had broken out.
Pretty sure Carl Cameron just mistook Romney staffers for OWS protesters. Fox News rapidly descending into chaos.
-- Alex Koppelman (@AlexKoppelman) January 4, 2012
MSNBC viewers were treated to the full Chris Matthews experience, in which the "Hardball" host went on repeated metaphoric misadventures as he tried to put the events of the evening (which, we remind you, were essentially hours and hours of waiting for two counties to convince Rick Perry to stop helping them count votes or something) into perspective. Matthews compared the negative ads directed at Newt Gingrich to the WWII Dresden firebombing, over the objections of Kurt Vonnegut's poltergeist. He also described Gingrich as having a "Freddy Kruger quality," which may end up in one of Mitt Romney's ads now. Of Romney, Matthews said that Iowa was "rejecting him like some sort of foreign organ" (we remind you, Romney technically won last night) and that Mitt had to take back his "manhood" from Rick Santorum.
Knowing Santorum the way we know Santorum, we figure that if he accidentally ended up with Romney's "manhood," he would probably happily part with it without too much fuss.
But in the end, CNN outdid everyone else last night with hours of frantic, high-tech whiz-banging over an evening that eventually became chaotic and punch-drunk. Yes, there were holograms. And "magic walls." And tables full of pundits, sitting around doing nothing. There was something called a "flick," which was stolen from the movie "Minority Report." No expense was spared proving to America that America likes to use Twitter. Wolf Blitzer descended into bouts of echolalia as all of the dancing lights tickled his limbic system. Anderson Cooper, still coming down from the contact high of spending New Year's Eve with Kathy Griffin, spat snark and incredulity over the whole affair.
And finally, a late night call to an Iowa precinct chairwoman took everything to a whole new level.
So, with the help of our own Ben Craw, here's your all-CNN recap of how the media covered your Iowa caucuses last night. I think that between their performance and Mitt Romney's manic late-night speech, we are all one step closer to solving the mystery of the Adderall shortage.
Video produced by Ben Craw.
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