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Dishonorable Mentions: 2008 Election Coverage


The race to the White House was fraught with cramps.

Whether your guy won or lost, this year's presidential race was probably the most exciting in history. A riveted nation never wanted for coverage: Cable news and the blogosphere served up a steady diet of fact, fallacy and opinion.

Of course, given the length of the campaign, there were bound to be some blunders - though some are more glaring than others.

While Nate Silver of, whose electoral-map prediction was near perfect, deserves accolades, these next 5 news-breakers are all due for the gentle ribbing we like to call a Dishonorable Mention.

Worst Soothsayer
Bill Kristol

Once the results were in, Fox News (NWS) commentator Bill Kristol finally realized the folly of his predictions: He'd previously contended that Obama wouldn't beat Hillary Clinton in a single primary, Fred Thompson would be a formidable opponent, and John McCain would "win huge."

Worst Entreaty to Obi-Wan
CNN's Holographic Correspondents

At first, CNN (TWX) dazzled viewers with its giant touchscreen electoral map. Then the network foolishly branched out to a flashier technology: Holograms. In one of the silliest displays of the election season, anchor Wolf Blitzer talked to cartoon versions of correspondent Jessica Yellin and singer while they were 700 miles away in Chicago. The result was neither convincing nor revolutionary.

Worst Dysfunctional Network Family

Following their on- and off-camera bickering, top executives at MSNBC (GE) decided to relieve Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann from election-night hosting duties. Transgressions included: Olbermann criticizing colleague Joe Scarborough's overzealous praise of John McCain with "Jesus, Joe, why don't you get a shovel?" and Matthews snapping at Olbermann after being accused of talking too much.

Worst Choice For a Lead Story
The Mississippi Press
There were a variety of ways to announce November 5th's top story: "Obama Wins!", "US Elects 1st Black President!," "2008 Halloween Costume Photo Contest!" Wait, what? Pascagoula, Mississippi's local paper decided to forgo this year's biggest news story to post pictures of toddlers "all dwessed up." The only mention of the election on the front page is -- seriously -- a cartoon crab that, so relieved that it's finally over, promises to vote by absentee ballot next time around.

Worst Political Documentary
Swing Vote

The presidential election is locked in such a dead heat that the contest comes down to some doofus's illegible vote in New Mexico? Rather than tossing out the faulty ballot and entrusting the decision to the House of Representatives, Kevin Costner becomes the deciding factor in the election of the next Commander-in-Chief. Multiplicity was more plausible.
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