Press: Another Rush to Judgment

Amid doubts about exit-poll ethics, TV outraces the voters

For CBS News Anchor Dan Rather, the presidential election was officially over at 8 p.m. E.S.T. when little more than 1% of the votes had been tallied. At ABC, which had vowed in advance to practice "good citizenship" and restraint, Peter Jennings announced a Reagan victory 13 minutes after Rather. NBC, which transformed the rules of political reporting four years ago by proclaiming Reagan's victory over Jimmy Carter while much of the country was still voting, responded to critics by delaying Tom Brokaw's victory decree...

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