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About time: Mark Knoller sets new rules to curb countdown clock abuse

CBS News’ Mark Knoller is the unofficial statistician of the White House press corps, keeping one eye on the numbers no matter how high they may climb, from President Obama’s rounds of golf to days elapsed between Hillary Clinton’s press conferences.


One set of numbers he can do without is CNN’s ubiquitous countdown clock, which the network drags out at any opportunity. Who doesn’t remember biting their nails as CNN counted down the seconds until an asteroid would pass within 3.6 million miles of earth? Nobody? How about the Confederate flag coming down from the State House grounds in South Carolina?

Does anyone outside of CNN take the network’s clock seriously? The New Republic recently declared it “the single most infuriating object in the 2016 election,” while the Washington Post accused it of “bait-and-switching American political junkies.”

The suspense! It’s too much!



Free of charge, here are some suggested guidelines for the clock-happy news networks:

Someone has to be the adult in the room. Hold that thought, though:

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