The CNN countdown clock has become an industry joke. Eric Wemple of the Washington Post also says it's not even accurate.
Wemple says that on Thursday, March 10. A countdown clock on CNN’s screen had been winding down for hours, and appeared to indicate that the CNN Republican Presidential Debate in Miami with moderator Jake Tapper would start at 8:30 p.m. ET. Laptop on lap, we plopped in front of the television, ready for polemics. Instead, we got what felt like extended pregame analysis and ceremony. A 30-minute fakeout.
The clock said the debate started, but it still was a half hour away. Wemple wasn't the only one not happy with CNN's fudging of the truth.
CNN stands behind the lying clock.
The network's Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist explained that the clock is a device targeted toward the average cable-news consumer, who checks in with the network episodically and thus may miss conventional ads for debates and town hall events. “It’s very simply a promotional mechanism that recognizes the fact that people are tuning in and out all the time and may not see and ad or tweet for an event,” (how is that possible?) says Feist.
“Did we start the debate at exactly 8:30? That depends on your definition of when we started the debate,” says Feist.
Sam Feist is starting to sound a lot like Brian Williams.
The bottom line, if CNN can't be accurate on a simple clock, how can you trust them with anything else?