Savoring the Moment
Tuesday, November 4, 2008; 11:44 PM
Eleven o'clock, on the dot.
The anchors wisely kept quiet and let the cheering crowds tell the story.
They were jumping up and down, singing, waving American flags in Chicago. Some black people were crying. What had once seemed impossible was now reality.
"Have American attitudes toward race shifted this much in 20 years?" Brit Hume asks.
"Some 232 years after the Declaration of Independence . . . , " says Wolf Blitzer.
David Gergen is quoting Martin Luther King.
"In a country that was stained by slavery, he is now president of the United States," David Gregory says. "The ultimate color line has now been crossed."
"This country has changed history," Chris Matthews says.
"The world will never forget this moment," Gene Robinson says.
"This is man on the moon," Keith Olbermann says.
Television is very good at overstating and overdramatizing things. That is not the case tonight, whatever your party and political preferences. Even for journalists who make their living talking, words somehow seem inadequate.