CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer inadvertently contributed to the unprecedented delay in official vote totals from the critical Iowa Caucuses because he wanted to listen in on a precinct captain’s phone call with the Iowa Democratic Party.
Blitzer was conducting a live phone interview with Story County precinct captain Shawn Sebastian, who told the CNN anchor that he had been on hold “for over an hour with the Iowa Democratic party” to figure out what to do amid the chaos of an election app that malfunctioned.
“We’ve been recommended to call into the hotline, and the hotline has not been responsive,” Sebastian said, noting that he had not been given any explanation of what was causing the embarrassing issues.
“I’m just waiting on hold and doing my best to report the results for my precinct,” Sebastian told Blitzer.
At that moment, Sebastian’s lengthy wait appeared to be over when an Iowa Democratic Party official answered the call.
“Can I help you?” a voice can be heard saying through Sebastian’s phone. But instead of responding, Sebastian explained the situation to Blitzer.
“This is a real coincidence, Wolf, but I just got off hold, just now,” Sebastian said as the Democratic Party official repeatedly says, “Hello” in the background.
“I’ve got to get off the phone to report the results,” Sebastian said.
Blitzer didn’t immediately end the interview and asked if CNN could listen in as Sebastian reported the Story County results as the Democratic official continued to say “hello” before what appeared to be the sound of a landline phone hanging up.
“They hung up on me,” Sebastian told Blitzer. “I’ve got to get back in line on hold, they just hung up.”
Blitzer shot back, “So frustrating, indeed.”
The moment quickly went viral on social media, with many viewers mocking Sebastian for not cutting Blitzer off and others blaming the CNN anchor.