Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Conclave Watch 2

That was pretty funny stuff today as TV news people debated on the air whether the smoke coming from the chimney at the Vatican was black (meaning no pope today) or white (meaning a pope had been chosen). The TV folks then had to wait for the bells which were meant to confirm the choice of a pope, since there have been problems determining the color of the smoke before.
The picture-in-picture of the chimney, seen yesterday and again today, gave way to one of the bells on CNN, since the bells were now the only place to confirm this. Then, more confusion, since there were apparently bells ringing the hour apart from the bells meant to ring for the new pope.
And, mind you, all this excitement came before the newscasts knew who the pope was. (Update: t turned out to be Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who took the name Benedict XVI.)
I was troubled by Fox News Channel's celebratory ''We Have A Pope!'' graphic. (Who exactly is the ''we'' there?) But overall I enjoyed that all that TV technology and expertise still had to wait for the deliberately low-tech system of chimney and bells.


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