It’s OK To Skip TV News Until Tonight

By Alex Weprin 

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MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” had a special six-hour edition this morning, and it ended with a moment that surely made all the viewers feel like it was time well spent:

As Time TV critic James Poniewozik notes, it is ok to skip TV news coverage of the election until the results start rolling in this evening. Why?

With no actual returns coming in until this reading, that leaves a lot of hours to fill, a lot of tea leaves to read, a lot of viewers to hook. You will hear many, many indications of what voting is looking like today and what that portends for the outcome. You will hear a lot about long lines here and short lines there and what that means for each candidate. You will hear one pundit and reporter after another attempt to measure “enthusiasm” by sticking a finger in the wind.

Almost all of it will be useless. Also useless: whatever leaked exit-poll information you start seeing on Twitter or elsewhere online over the course of the afternoon—it may not be legitimate, and (as 2000 and 2004 showed us) will likely be worthless even if it is.

For political junkies, it might be fun, but you probably won’t gain any insight as to who is going to win.