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Cleveland Kidnapping Coverage Includes Bizarre CNN Split-Screen

CNN Parking Lot Screen Grab - H 2013
CNN
Ashleigh Banfield and Nancy Grace

Discussing the events in Ohio, "Newsroom" host Ashleigh Banfield and HLN's Nancy Grace speak remotely -- from two neighboring spots in the same Phoenix parking lot.

With an Arizona jury currently deciding whether to find alleged boyfriend-killer Jodi Arias guilty of first degree murder, it would take a lot to tear Nancy Grace away from Phoenix. She's spearheaded the cable news network's wall-to-wall coverage of the trial since January.

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So when Monday night's late-breaking news of three kidnapping victims escaping a decadelong imprisonment in Cleveland demanded Grace's legal expertise, her sister network wired her in to speak with CNN Newsroom host Ashleigh Banfield about the developing story on Tuesday morning. But as The Atlantic Wire points out, Banfield also is in Phoenix covering the Arias trial -- and she appears to even be in the same parking lot.

Multiple screengrabs and GIFs posted on Atlantic Wire show cars traveling between Grace and Banfield's frames on just a few seconds delay, implying that the two are no more than a few yards apart and facing the same direction.

Grace exaggerates the hilarity by pushing in her earpiece to better hear Banfield, whom she likely can see across the parking lot. Remote split-screen interviews are the bread and butter of cable news, and while they often take place in the same building or adjacent locations, this example seems particularly absurd.

CNN and HLN both broke away from heavy Arias coverage throughout Tuesday to offer updates on the situation in Ohio, which saw kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escape captivity from brothers Ariel, Onil and Pedro Castro. The trio were arrested Monday following Berry's initial flight from the house where they were being held and now face felony kidnapping and rape charges.