File this in your undoubtedly thick “What the hell are you doing, CNN?” file. This morning, the struggling cable news giant aired a strange split-screen interview between two anchors standing in the same parking lot. Seriously, the same vehicles go by in the background and everything.
The Atlantic Wire (and others) noticed the odd report hours ago, between Ashleigh Banfield of CNN and Nancy Grace of Headline News. They were both giving updates on the ongoing Cleveland kidnapping story (Amanda Berry, catch up here), and the graphics below each said that they were currently in Phoenix.
Once that tips you off, you’ll probably notice that they’re both standing in front of the same building.
If you watch closely, paying special heed to the vehicles passing behind each reporter, you’ll notice that not only are they in the exact same parking lot, they’re facing the same direction. Dashiell Bennett and Philip Bump hypothesize in their article that Banfield and Grace are probably only standing about 30 feet apart.
Which begs the question: Are they aware of each other’s presence and just going with it, or are they truly oblivious to each other? They have to at least be overhearing each other’s voices in their respective periphery, right?
Now, both anchors are indeed reporting for separate networks (owned by the same parent company, but whatever). Additionally, split-screen reporting, even from the same general location, does happen. But you’d think given their obvious proximity to each other, one of them would have at least awkwardly acknowledged the other in a cute “off the cuff” moment instead of waiting for the Internet to do it for them.
Alas, that was not the scene in Phoenix today.
I only wish there was video of this report so that we could confirm what we all fear about this story, but regrettably, a ten-minute search of Google did not avail it to me. It really looks from the GIFs (one is posted below, you can see the rest here) that Grace might actually be blue-screened into the report, because the lighting on her and on Banfield is not the same.
Which is actually even worse, because it means some idiot from Headline News was standing next to a CNN cameraman pointing his camera at nothing.
[Top image via: CNN, Atlantic Wire]