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The Television Critics Association Press Tour is going to be crawling with TVWeek staffers. Check this space for observations from the presentations, hallway chatter and the dope on who was misbehaving at the parties. TVWeek’s Jon Lafayette, Josef Adalian, Andrew Krukowski, Sergio Ibarra and Vlada Gelman all will post as they scour the scene for news.


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Live-Blogging the CNN TCA Panel

July 11, 2008 8:59 AM

We're here at the last day of the Cable TCA. Right now, Turner has the floor with CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network and TBS. And we're about to enter the Situation Room, and yes, there are screens in the lobby showing election polls and whatnot, just in case Wolf Blitzer got homesick.

9:03 a.m.: A quick flip through the itinerary shows we've got the CNN folks up first, followed by Cartoon Network, which will be screening the first episode of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Afterwards, TNT presents its new series "Raising the Bar" and "Leverage," and TBS closes with Frank Caliendo and "Frank TV."

9:08 a.m.: We were just given some housekeeping notes, and this reminds me so much of college. I was just told that if we can get through the material quickly, we'll be able to get out early. I quickly thought, "Sweet, I can catch a nap at my dorm before my next class."

9:12 a.m.: CNN President Jonathan Klein up at the mic. He said that touchscreen boards at CNN aren't gimmicks, but simply tools to provide information faster.

9:15 a.m.: CNN HIGHLIGHT REEL! FAST CUTS! GRAPHS! JOHN MCCAIN! REPORTERS BEHIND LAPTOPS! BLITZER'S BEARD!

9:17 a.m.: WHAT? Mr. Blitzer's on satellite. He says he pulled a hammie while running on a treadmill, so he couldn't make the trip to L.A.

After the jump, CNN wizards.

9:19 a.m.: "[Obama] did get some tough coverage," Gloria Borger, CNN senior political analyst, says. But, she adds, the "SNL" skit that lampooned CNN's debates did cause some refocus on how CNN was covering Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

9:27 a.m.: The way these guys are talking about the Democratic National Convention, you'd think there was going to be a brawl between delegates on the floor. If one chair doesn't get smashed over someone's head at the DNC in Denver, I'm writing a stern letter to CNN for false advertising.

9:30 a.m.: CNN chief national correspondent John King just said one of John McCain's sides is "irascible son of a bitch." This seals it then. Nazareth is going to play "Hair of the Dog" at the Republican National Convention.

9:35 a.m.: Mr. Blitzer: "There's nothing wrong with offering a little drama, a little color" in the election process. Mr. Blitzer is defending CNN's coverage, focusing not only on the platforms, but, I guess, also a cribbed cookie recipe from Cindy McCain.

9:42 a.m.: Reporter asks if CNN is going to grasp at amping drama even if polls show a runaway election. "A 55-45 national poll doesn't mean anything," David Bohrman, senior VP/Washington D.C. bureau chief, says. "I do not think we will see a runaway race in the electoral votes at all."

9:45 a.m.: Quick glance around the room of critics' laptops: Someone's video editing, someone's reading comments on what looks like their blog. OH! I think I just saw some Perez Hilton.

9:47 a.m.: Critics are asking about CNN's bravado in hailing themselves as "The Best Political Team on Television." Blitzer says the behind-the-scenes workers are just as great as the on-talent crew. "We have wizards back there," he says. CNN = Politics and Alchemy.

9:53 a.m.: Now up: CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien and senior executive producer Mark Nelson are talking about "Black in America."

9:55 a.m.: Ms. O'Brien says the media portray black people generally as rappers, Condoleezza Rice or in handcuffs.

10:05 a.m.: While Mr. Obama is not focused on in the documentary, Ms. O'Brien says black men she interviewed were more inclined to talk about Mr. Obama's momentum than black women. She says black men she talked with at first were reluctant to believe that Mr. Obama was going to win the nomination.

10:11 a.m.: Ms. O'Brien, responding to Spike Lee's assessment that if Mr. Obama is elected, everything changes: "I don't think everything changes on Jan. 20, no matter who's elected president."

CNN is all through. We get a break to see how touchscreen technology works. We're back in 15 minutes with Cartoon Network.

—Andrew Krukowski

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