We are projecting……..

You'll be the first to know

You’ll be the first to know

I love CNN.

Have you been watching its coverage of the effort to choose a new pope? Apparently, we are so entirely consumed with what’s going on over there with all the Cardinals that we can think of little else? I would take CNN more seriously if it wasn’t giving the election of a pope about the same weight it gave to the stricken pooped-up cruise ship fiasco. Every event is now the ultimate event. Weight of coverage is never relative.

So the techno-whizzes at CNN have created a ‘virtual Sistine Chapel’ in which a reporter walks around like a Vatican tour guide and gives the audience the lay of the land. Here’s where they hand in their ballots. Here’s where they put the stove in which they burn the ballots. Here’s where they have to leave all their Blackberries.

I’m all for information but, really, does everything have to be dissected to this degree? The one thing I actually enjoy about the process of electing a pope is that the process is still a bit of a mystery. People gather in St. Peter’s Square and wait to see if the smoke is black or white. This has some degree of drama.

But the media would be just as happy if there was no mystery anymore. There is saturation coverage. There are expert panels upon expert panels. We have forensic analysis of all the top contenders. We have interviews with all their mothers. The election of the pope now feels like any other election…or perhaps even a major sporting event. Believe me, if they could do some kind of exit polling, they’d be doing it. It must drive them crazy that no one actually exits until the deed is done.

A decision like this still warrants some degree of discretion.

There is something somewhat sacred in a process that will first reveal itself to the world with a plume of properly-shaded smoke. No emails. No tweets. CNN can lock its cameras off on a shot of the chimney and get the same information as everyone else standing in St. Peter’s Square…and not a moment before.

I love it.


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