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Explaining the Appeal of CNN's Election Coverage

11:28 AM, Apr 23, 2008 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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Do you find yourself somehow inexplicably drawn to CNN's coverage of the primaries? I do, but for months I didn't know precisely why. There was something so comforting about the format, something so familiar. Then it dawned on me: The studio set-up, the double panel of guests, the host going to each table to get his answers. Quite cleverly, CNN producers have modeled their election team of pundits around the legendary 1970s game show, Match Game.

Host Wolf Blitzer is Gene Rayburn, Leslie Sanchez is Brett Somers, David Gergen is MacLean Stevenson, Gloria Borger is Betty White, Bill Bennett is Richard Dawson, and Paul Begala is Charles Nelson Reilly (strictly because they share the same vocal range).

We just can't seem to change channels because, subliminally, we're waiting for Wolf to say, "Jeffrey Toobin left his blank in San Diego."