After controversial CNN anchor Lou Dobbs's exit, the network has tapped its Chief National Correspondent John King to helm Dobbs's broadcasts. Though King will still host Sunday's "State of the Union," can the new anchor continue to man the Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall — a.k.a. the "Magic Wall"? The L.A. Times reports that King is vowing to stay in touch with the data-crunching touch-screen, but, just in case, here's a nostalgic look back:
The "Magic Wall" debuts, 2008
After chiding CNN anchor Campbell Brown for calling it his "new toy," John King feverishly points and drags his fingers across the screen's map to illustrate where CNN correspondents are stationed across the country. (No sign yet of its ability to crunch election data.) Brown admits she's intrigued by the "creepy" device, enthusing: "We're going to be playing with this!"
(Watch John King get acquainted with the "Magic Wall")
John King takes the "Magic Wall" to the people, 2008
On location at the Republican National Convention, King coaxes the screen to reveal how "Wal-Mart moms" and "Hockey moms" could statistically affect the election. Surprise twist: The Wall, usually so upright, assumes a seemingly mellow reclined position.
(Watch John King and the "Magic Wall" at the Republican National Convention)
John King exhibits "Magic Wall" mania, 2008
King's fleet fingers are literally all over the map here, demonstrating patterns that led to Obama's presidential win. As King frantically "scribbles" green circles all over America, the cameraman struggles to keep up with his superhuman pace.
(Watch John King obey Anderson Cooper's demand to "break it down!")
The Magic Wall grows moody, unresponsive, 2009
During a routine wall encounter, King encounters some resistance. Anthropomorphizing the device, he apologizes on its behalf: "The wall's being a little cranky."
(Watch John King apologize for the "Magic Wall")
King finally reveals the wall's secrets, 2009
Claiming he's still a wall novice, John King demystifies some of its features and even lets fellow CNN reporter Michael Holmes stroke it. King then shrinks the digital map of America, and pretends to stick it in his pocket.
(Watch a behind the scenes look at CNN's "Magic Wall")