The election issue of Time is out, with my column this week reviewing the networks’ gadget-happy election night:
Anderson Cooper ended an interview with singer and Obama supporter Will.i.am, “Appreciate you being with us tonight by hologram.” It was as if CNN had been bought by Lucasfilm.
The mind reels at how news organizations might employ this technology in the future. Will we see holograms of reporters standing outside in hurricanes?
In the end, the most striking images of Election Night 2008 were John McCain behind a podium, giving a strikingly gracious concession; the sea of emotional supporters in Grant Park; Fox News’ Juan Williams and others choking up while describing Obama’s victory as the first African-American president; and the videophone images of celebrations in Obama’s ancestral home of Kenya. All the Virtual Capitol Buildings in the world can’t compete with the technology of an emotive human face.