NBC's Tom Brokaw earns a tony from Susan Lee this week for his commentary on the last presidential election of his 42-year career. "What I'm really struck by is that, for all the emotion in the Kerry campaign, there are no troops in the streets in Boston, no tanks rumbling past Kerry's hotel, no one is going to go to jail as a result of what's going on in this contest in Ohio. We'll work it out. " This is quite a feat for a man who has spent so much time deeply immersed in the campaign, says Lee. "He was able to rise above all these facts and figures and this minutiae, and he was able to lift out that Aristotelian virtue that's known as American democracy, and point out that there's an orderly transfer of power from one group to another group."
Misleading exit polls deserve a tacky says Daniel Henninger, for the false hopes they gave Democrats and unwarranted fears they provoked in Republicans. "At three, the exit polls showed a big upsurge for Kerry," says Henninger. "Republicans were heading to the window ledges and Democrats were on this unsustainable cloud of euphoria. The stock market went off the cliff." The average person will dispute a friend till blue in the face, says Henninger. "But they'll watch that screen and believe the information as though it were tablets being handed down from the mountain."
Dorothy Rabinowitz awards a second tacky to the unsufferable condescension of Europeans meddling in the U.S. elections. Election observers from Vienna explained,"We are here to see if a partisan administration can conduct a non-partisan election." Every state, except Colorado, allowed them in, says Rabinowitz. Their report will be out in a months, she adds, "I have a strong feeling that people will not be trampling each other to get a copy."