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CNN’s Own Reality

November 9, 2008 8:30 PM

CNN's Election Night Coverage

CNN Senior VP David Bohrman’s signature fascination with techno-wizardry was one of the hot topics the day after Election Night, when that cable news network scored a record audience. Mr. Borhman conjured up the network’s “hologram” plan, in which live 3-D images of correspondent Jessica Yellin and entertainer will.i.am in Chicago were “beamed” into CNN’s New York studio to be interviewed by Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper. By the end of last week, Mr. Bohrman was a little tired of the “obtuse” argument raised by a Canadian scientist that what CNN showed was not a hologram but a tomogram. (He also was tired of the late-night spoofs.) “Technically, it was a living virtual character,” said Mr. Bohrman, who added that he has an undergraduate degree in physics from Stanford and still had never heard of a tomogram. And if anyone wants to go all purist on him about the journalistic integrity behind taking a correspondent out of actual geographical context for the interview, Mr. Bohrman, who spent part of his earlier 13 years at ABC News as part of the original “Nightline” production team, replies: “Here’s a secret: Ted Koppel was looking at a green wall” when, via the magic of Chyron, the audience at home thought he was looking at his interviewees on a big screen. “I came down on the side that it was valid at ‘Nightline,’ and this is no less valid to pull that [hologram] into the room.” The Washington-based CNN executive said Election Night was “a little test of an idea” that may be well enough understood to be a very interesting tool for TV news producers in the future.

—Michele Greppi

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