The X: Let’s Get Technical

By Brian 

Eleven hours after CNN explained the technical glitch behind yesterday’s Cheney X, Matt Drudge still hasn’t posted their side of the story.

So let’s get technical: CNN says the “switcher effects recall” malfunctioned on the Atlanta B Control switcher. “The switcher was reset by engineering which cleared the problem,” the network adds.

“I’d bet anything it was the key or the fill side to an animation that accidentally hit air,” an e-mailer says. “Ask them if it was a slate to a key on a Fast Forward machine…I work in TV, that’s how we slate our animations so they match up — one frame of a big X.”

A TVSpyer adds: “Anyone who’s been in TV for 5 minutes knows that the giant X on CNN is a black key frame the technical director uses to set the black level for animated keys and a cue point for animated keys. The X is at 7% black level and the background is at 0%. This is how the TD sets his key and how the tape op knows where to cue the tape. It accidentally went on air. Big deal. No conspiracy, no scandal.”

Meanwhile, Fox & Friends had fun with the gaffe this morning. A segment called “technical or tactical?” invited phone calls and e-mails. Brian Kilmeade asked: “So is this how Aaron Brown found out he had to find another job?”