The Wolf Blitzer-John King Dynamic on CNN Is Absolutely Electric

Kyle Koster

Not that this is the most important thing at the moment — and there are plenty of other sites and stations dead-set on giving you the most important things at this moment — but CNN's John King wasted no time rocketing himself to cable news' MVP frontrunner early on as election night votes began trickling in. He is manipulating the Magic Wall in a way young people only dream of while growing up, pressing buttons and delivering straightforward information and contextualizing it for the viewer.

His common refrain since turning his awesome real-time tabulator on has been to be cautious. To be patient because these results are only partial and it's a marathon, not a sprint. If it seems like he's saying it every five minutes, it's because that's precisely what's happening.

This is good advice, of course, yet there's a problem. Wolf Blitzer, venerable and sage anchor, is undermining that message every five minutes and six seconds by shaking out his Jump to Conclusions mat and making good use of it. Then asking King to join him in fevered-pitch speculation.

Your mileage may very but Blitzer's style is extremely intense. He feels a bit — and this is heavy irony — the sliverhair who cried wolf. Over and over. Kings is much more stoic and straightforward, making it stand out even more because people have forgotten news could just ... be like this. Facts and figures without tremendous editorializing or sensationalism.

Anyway, it's a small thing yet anyone with eyes and emotional intelligence at home could probably pick up on it once flagged. If it is indeed to be a long night and morning, these two have several hours of this dissonant dance to step through.