Television: An Evening of Rash Predictions

When its cameras and microphones are on hand to catch the unfolding drama of a major event, TV news re porting is at its best. From the pageant ry of a President's funeral to the suspense of a space-shot splashdown, the story is brought to the home screen with startling intimacy. The capabilities of the big eye seem virtually unlimited —and judging from the advance fanfare, the networks went all out to exploit those capabilities on last week's elections. But the cameras and the news casters muffed the story.

All three networks installed elaborate computer systems programmed...

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