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Election Watch: Get FoxNews Kristol Away From That Telestrator! - Broadcasting & Cable

Election Watch: Get FoxNews Kristol Away From That Telestrator!

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Get Kristol Away From That Telestrator!

Well, it's 10 o'clock now on the Fox News Channel and now and again for the last hour or so, Fox analyst Bill Kristol has been practicing on the Telestrator, you know, the little electronic gizmo John Madden uses to draw lines and circles to analyze plays for NFL games.

Kristol has been using it to draw circles around states Democratic Senate candidates have snatched from the GOP. There is no reason for Fox to be using this needless graphic, but more amazingly, Kristol has not gotten much better at using it, though, having never used a Telestrator, it doesn't seem like it could be that hard.I think this was a Fox answer to the Tim Russert's simple graphics board made so famous in 2000, but it ain't working, and well, it's just sillier than Fox usually is.

And boy, tonight Fox is not silly. I've switched over to CNN every so often and it seems so much more lively over there, with lots of different staffers reporting and Anderson Cooper racing around on a set that seems to be acres big, at least as seen on TV.

On Fox, it's just mostly these five guys sitting around–Kristol, Fred Barnes, Juan Williams and Morton Kondracke, with Fox's Brit Hume.

I'm not usually a fan of twirly graphics and nutty pointless sound effects, but gees, this Fox telecast has all the verve of a stripped down Ford. They need a nutty guy, or a woman who's on for more than just a couple minutes giving the scores, which is how Fox is using its correspondents tonight.I'm not saying it's not been serious coverage, but boy, it's grey. Past that, I've enjoyed Hume and Fox's political smarty, Michael Barone, who really seems to be the guy you'd want on your side if we were playing Know Your U.S. Congressional Districts.

But what happens next for Fox?

I don't want to go over the whole bit about Fox News having a conservative ideological bias, which it denies. I think anyone would have to agree there's a perception of that though, and if perception is to some degree reality, what happens when on an election night, a goodly number of Americans decide to throw out the Republican infrastructure? You'd suppose that if Republicans are wondering how to react to this election night, so is Roger Ailes. Of course, in fact, it's probably a godsend for Fox. It had its best days when it had President Clinton to kick around. Now, it appears at this hour, to be inheriting a new bunch of Democrats who, voters apparently want to fix that Iraq thing, right now. No problem!

By P.J. Bednarski

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