Dallas While the television networks were busy preaching caution Tuesday, the Web was already abuzz with projections about the next president.
"This could take awhile," CNN's Wolf Blitzer warned when the polls were closing. But blogs had been slicing and dicing exit poll numbers for hours.
In 2000, voters turned to television and news Web sites for up-to-the-minute information. Four years later, an army of Web pundits made their Election Day debut, underscoring that they're not playing by the same rules as traditional journalists. Also in the mix were "The Daily Show's" fake newscast and MTV's rockin' election special, "Choose or Lose."
Buttoned-down talking heads are no longer the only source of election news. New media offered no-holds-barred commentary, premature predictions and, occasionally, bits of news.
Networks and newspapers that purchase exit poll data agree not to release information from a particular state until its polls close. But bloggers don't buy the data and didn't abide by those rules.
While cable news anchors were biting their tongues, blogs began posting exit poll information Tuesday morning. The data is distributed widely to news organizations, but Web sites would not say who leaked the information.