World Media Girds For Election; Prince Harry Diverts Attention In UK; Harry’s Bar Holds Traditional Straw Vote In Paris

Nancy Tartaglione and Diana Lodderhose
Deadline

TV news channels in Europe and media around the world are prepping for a long night (or day depending on the time zone) as they go full-court press on the U.S. presidential election.

Beginning with Hillary Clinton heading to the polls at around 8 AM ET, many 24-hour channels began blanket coverage with at least one French outlet settling in for what it is terming “La Nuit Américaine.”

Earlier in the day, the 24-hour nets in the UK and France had cut in and out of coverage, including the middle-of-the-night vote in Dixville Notch, NH. British news, however, was also dominated by a rare missive from Kensington Palace confirming that Suits star Meghan Markle is Prince Harry’s girlfriend, while also condemning the press for a “wave of abuse and harassment” she has received since they embarked on their relationship. Royal experts were called in to comment, providing a juxtaposition to the news from America.

Sky News, ITV1 and BBC One will begin live coverage from 10 PM UK onward. The latter will carry through until Wednesday at 6 AM. SkyQ’s Top Picks on its box gives customers a selection of presidential-related fare, including a special Clinton V Trump show along with Presidential Movies, Presidential Box Sets and Presidential Documentaries.

Left-wing UK paper The Guardian had a wide splash across its site for the day, leading with “Hillary Clinton Casts her Ballot After 46 million Americans Vote Early,” and a live blog. Right leaning Telegraph also features a live blog and, at one point, the headline: “Fears of Voter Intimidation as Americans Pick Their Next President in Most Divisive Election in History.”

The more tabloid UK outlets such as the Daily Mail, Mirror and Sun had little front-page coverage as the day was winding down in the UK. Earlier, many headlines were more focused on the royals.

In France, Canal Plus devoted much of its Grand Journal evening program (subtitled tonight L’Heure du Choix) to pundits in the studio. Canal also cut to Harry’s Bar in Paris’ 2nd arrondissment. The oldest cocktail bar in Europe, and once a hangout for Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald, it has held a straw vote every four years since 1924 for ex-pat Americans. The traditional presidential poll is underway again — Clinton is currently largely in the lead. The terrestrial networks are planning regular programming.

Some French print media went with a spin on America — and the world — holding its breath. Le Monde is live now and taking questions. Libération cautions, “The United States Won’t Be Like Before.” Le Figaro starts live coverage on its website from 6 AM Wednesday with correspondents on the ground. France is particularly interested in the election as it’s in the throes of its own contentious presidential campaign which concludes with a final of round of voting on May 7, 2017.

German paper Der Spiegel led with the headline “The Incredible Force of Populism” with a picture of Trump supporters in Michigan. The election wasn’t the top story on Italy’s La Repubblica, but did feature prominently with the headline “America to the Polls to Choose the Future” while the country’s Corriere Della Sera did lead with the headline “Open Seats, America Writes History” and a picture of Trump looking on suspiciously as his wife Melania cast her vote in a polling booth.

China’s official news agency Xinhua ran a middle-of-the-page story entitled “U.S. presidential Candidates Most Disliked in Modern History.” The People’s Daily features an editorial under the headline “Commentary: US Presidential Election Reveals ‘Ill’ Democracy.” The Sydney Morning Herald is closely covering the election from the top, but is also giving plenty of space to Prince Harry.

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