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Updated Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Ron Judd: CNN's knee-deep-superstorm coverage simply blew us away

By Ron Judd
Seattle Times staff columnist

Years from now, historians will look back at Superstorm Sandy and point to the day that CNN, America's News Network, died a final, whimpering death.

Among the lowlight clips:

• Anchor Ali Velshi, standing waist-deep in a rushing torrent of water on a city street in Atlantic City for approximately three hours, advising people how imminently dangerous it is to stand waist-deep in a rushing torrent of water on a city street in Atlantic City for three hours.

• Boy Wonder Anderson Cooper, crouching outside in hurricane-force winds (apparently, CNN studio space was unavailable) and, after many dropped connections, finally getting a barely audible Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford on the phone, only to ask him, in the midst of ongoing, life-threatening chaos, about a perceived political squabble between him and Gov. Chris Christie, R-Four More Years.

• Actual quote from giddy, rubber-booted anchor Erin Burnett: "Water came up north of my knees!"

More gusting banality:

Meanwhile, Somewhere in Seattle: KING 5's Jim Forman wept with envy.

Again With the Storm: Those big sea walls people now are touting as a way to keep the Atlantic Ocean out of New York City are intriguing. Wondering if we could adapt one to keep the Canadians out of our Costcos.

This Means You, John Koster: Look, we'd really, really like to not have to keep writing about GOP candidates discussing rape. But you guys can't seem to stop thinking about it.

Built Ford Dumb: Not that they think their target audience is stupid, but a Ford pickup ad discussing engine torque feels obligated to explain: "Torque is what gets the cap off your beer."

First Class, No Class: Profits at Alaska Airlines soared to $163.4 million during the third quarter. That's $1 for every one of you who rode in a plane where the in-flight entertainment was a plastic coffee straw.

Anachronistic License: As a friend points out, isn't it a little odd that Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Unopposed, in a campaign ad touting her support of, and retraining for, the aerospace industry, is posing amid a bank of large piston engines?

(Apparently) Not From The Onion: Researchers at Loyola Marymount University and Stanford University's business school have concluded that a victory by a hometown college-football team 10 days before an election translated into an average 1.61 percentage-point benefit for incumbent candidates in the team's home county. The study will be remembered as the precise moment in U.S. history when academics completely exhausted their supply of abject nonsense on which to waste time and money.

It's a Long Story: In Whatcom County, The Resort at Semiahmoo went out of business when gift-shop owners finally gave up on attempts to fit the hotel's name on a coffee mug of less than 164 ounces.

Spreading That Holiday Cheer: Some guy in the U.K. was arrested after handing out trick-or-treat cocaine bags to little kids. Glad the cops were on to that: There could've been a razor blade in one of those.

And Finally: Among the other eye-openers from the big storm: The unnerving realization that only 18 percent of the nation's power lines are underground. Reserve generator gas, anyone?

Ron Judd's column appears each Sunday. Reach him at rjudd@seattletimes.com

or 206-464-8280.


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