Wolf Blitzer Is "Watching Very Closely"
A crash course in Blitzer-ese.
Was Wolf Blitzer's first language English, or was it Esperanto?
On CNN's The Situation Room, which he anchors, Blitzer draws on such a limited vocabulary that I predict that when he dies and the coroner cores his skull, the world will learn that he possesses a brain the size of a walnut.
Like a windup toy, Blitzer repeats the same stock phrases into the camera like an ad man. Other CNN talking heads working political stories with Blitzer aren't just his colleagues; they're "the best political team on television," an empty boast that ever echoes on CNN.
"I'm Wolf Blitzer," he intones like an automaton. "You're in The Situation Room." Actually, you're not in the CNN situation room. You're at home or at work or at the bar, of course, and it's Blitzer who is in the situation room. But apparently, that has not yet been explained to him.
The full extremity of Blitzer's very handicap is revealed, however, in those moments that he tosses the story to one of CNN's correspondents or attempts to impress viewers with CNN's devotion to a news topic. Blitzer announces that he or a CNN reporter "will be watching" or "has been watching" the topic "closely."
Before the second hour of tonight's election coverage had concluded, Blitzer had leaned on his "watching" construction so many times, I had to remove my shoes and socks to keep up with the count.
"We're going to watch it closely," Blitzer said at about 8:43 p.m. ET, it being the early electoral returns that were spelling terrible news for John McCain.
Here's a sampler of Blitzer boilerplate in action over the past couple of months, paired with the name of the thing being watched:
"Al-Qaida supporters seem to be watching this presidential campaign rather closely."
—Oct. 23, 2008
"We're watching this very, very closely." (Hurricane Ike)
—Sept. 12, 2008