CNN's miracle workers

Like many people, I watched and was tremendously impressed by Representative Duncan Hunter’s appearance on CNN yesterday. But as I was watching the video, I started noticing a few things.

First off, Hunter was appearing, live, from Manchester, New Hampshire. As a resident, I’m almost always glad to see us get a little of the national limelight. But as I’m watching and seeing several of the more prominent features of our skyline, I start playing with geography in my head. And that’s when I realized something amazing: CNN had either used a stock photo for a backdrop, or Representative Hunter was conducting the interview either on or several feet above a rather busy interstate highway, far away from any tall buildings.

I made screen captures from Google Earth and the video, and started marking them up. They are astonishingly crude and poor quality, but they do prove my case.

“Point A” in both images is the highrise known as either the PSNH Building or 1000 Elm Street. It is one of two “skyscrapers” Manchester has. (The second one, the Nynex Building, is blocked by his head.)

“Point B” in both images is the former Pandora Mill Building. It sits right on the Merrimack River on the north side of Granite Street, where a bridge crosses the river and connects to Interstate 293, which cuts through the city.

“Point C” in both images is the Center Of New Hampshire Building, which sits on the northwest corner of the intersection of Elm and Granite Streets.

A fourth point, in line with the Center of New Hampshire building, would help establish the exact perspective, but there really isn’t a good one in the screen shot.

Even with just those three points, though, it’s pretty clear that (barring the use of a zoom lens) the source of Congressman Hunter’s backdrop was somewhere along or over Interstate 293, very near Exit 5.

It seems somewhat appropriate, considering CNN’s rather spotty history of reporting the whole truth, that they would leave a United States congressman literally “up in the air” — right where they keep their ethics, their principles, and their credibility.

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