Canadian TV Plans Blanket Media Coverage of American Election Results

Obama Romney Debate Waving to Crowd - H 2012
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Obama Romney Debate Waving to Crowd - H 2012

The nation's major media groups will bring the U.S. presidential contest results to an audience that overwhelmingly favors Barack Obama returning to the White House.

TORONTO – They may not express the urgency of 4-year-old Abby Evans in her viral video, but Canadian print, radio and TV journalists appear just as eager for the American presidential contest to end after a long and bitter campaign on this country's doorstep.

“There is no coverage that is unfettered by malice, glee, misrepresentation or cliché. This must stop. Please, make it stop,” Global and Mail newspaper TV columnist John Doyle pleaded on Tuesday.

The Canadian media also reported widely on long lines at poll centers stateside, and the dreaded possibility of a repeat of the contentious 2000 U.S. presidential election that included a Florida recount.

“For the love of Pete: how hard is it for people to simply cast a ballot in the U.S.? This country invented the 20th century,” Toronto morning radio host John Moore tweeted on Tuesday, as he insisted Canadians carry off flawless national elections by placing a simple X on a paper ballot.

“Have you seen some of the ballots? w/ all the Props, some can be 12s of pages long, and let's not forget dimples and chads.” CTV TV host Ben Mulroney, a Good Morning America contributor and son of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, wrote on his own Twitter account.

Canadians will also be watching the election returns via the big four U.S. networks and 24/7 news channels like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC filling the airwaves here.

But that’s not stopping major Canadian TV networks sending their top news anchors and foreign correspondents to fan out across the U.S. to report back on the election results Tuesday night from Washington, D.C., and the campaign headquarters of U.S. president Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.

And with Canadians having already told local pollsters they’d prefer Obama to be returned to office by a three-to-one margin, journalists here played up the perils of a Romney win Tuesday night.

“It is difficult to imagine stakes bigger than the ones playing out Tuesday, as a bitterly divided America finally makes the call: renewal for the Obama Era, disappointments and all, or a leap into the great unknown under Mitt Romney,” wrote Mitch Potter, the Toronto Star Washington, D.C. bureau reporter.

Among the outlier columnists here was Michael Den Tandt in the National Post newspaper, who mocked Canada’s love affair with Obama, before declaring the country would be better off with Romney in the White House.

“From a Canadian point of view, Obama is simply too fantastic not to adore. He’s charming. He’s smart. He’s funny. He has the cachet of being America’s first black president. He’s an internationalist,” he wrote.

“But if you drill into the policy differences just a bit, the result is clear: It’s a good thing Canadians can’t vote in this election. If we could, we’d be acting overwhelmingly against our own interests,” Den Tandt concluded.

Canadian TV will also be heavy on the comedy Tuesday night, with the CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes satirical comedy series focusing on the U.S. election.

And The Comedy Network will air live The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report late night, with repeats on CTV from midnight.