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The Sarah Palin-Joe Biden debate: Revealing the real source of CNN's sources

October 6, 2008 |  5:24 am

You know how you watch these presidential and vice presidential debates on television, as a near record number of us did last Thursday with Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, and millions more will tomorrow night from Nashville with John McCain and Barack Obama?

And then afterward the networks switch to what seems to be a palpably proliferating panoply of pundits who tell us all instantly and precisely who won, who scored and lost points and what it all means for America's future? And they keep consulting open laptops for their perceptive notes and quotes?

And sometimes you wonder who appointed them and what makes them think they know more than you?

Well, maybe they don't. The brilliantly observant folks over at Gizmodo.com were watching CNN's political palaverers, including here on the nearest end the big legal expert Jeffrey Toobin. Here's a photo of the panel during coverage of last Thursday night's vice presidential debate:

CNN's panel of political pundits including Jeffrey Toobin discuss the vice presidential debate between Republican Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Democrat Senator Joe Biden

But the clever Gizmodo.com folks didn't leave it there. They examined the photo more closely.

To see what they found, click on the "Read more" line below.

Ooops, Toobin wasn't even watching the debate he was pontificating about at all.

He was watching the baseball playoffs on his laptop. See the embarrassing enlargement of the first photo here:

Oops, a closeup of Jeffrey Toobin's laptop during the CNN debate show reveals he was not in fact paying attention to the vice presidential debate between Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden but he was watching the baseball playoffs instead

Do you suppose the other CNN "analysts" were watching Fox News to crib their insights? Here's the full Gizmodo story. (UPDATE: It seems Jeffrey doesn't learn a lesson from just one mistake. Check out this later Ticket item from about two weeks later.)

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Gizmodo.com

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