TV: Pooling, Cronking & Brinking

The "numbers game" system of covering elections, in which networks vied with each other to see who could hire the most poll watchers, reached an apogee of absurdity in the California primary. In small precincts, three "reporters" often found themselves struggling to see over the shoulder of one kind old lady counting votes. It was too silly and needlessly expensive. Last week the three networks and the wire services agreed to set up a joint Network Election Service that will di vide the chores, pool the results, and present the same vote count to a viewer no matter...

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