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All the TV networks make the Obama call at once

November 4, 2008 | 11:23 pm

Few things seem to happen officially in modern American life until they are somehow ratified by being seen on TV. And it sure didn't take long for the television networks, armed with their exit polls studied all day, to proclaim Barack Obama the 44th president.

In fact, all the networks did it at once -- at 8 p.m. sharp, just as the polls closed in California.

“An African American has broken a barrier as old as the Republic,” NBC anchor Brian Williams said. “An astonishing candidate, an astonishing campaign, a seismic shift in American politics.”

With plenty of time to prepare, all the networks made the call simultaneously, pronouncing with certainty what they had prognosticated throughout the night.

Our meticulous colleague Matea Gold and some of her media cohorts have the full details on the simultaneous call over on the Show Tracker blog here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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