#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 8 December 2021

CNN's John King wants to return to Ireland to 'retrace roots'

The CNN team could anticipate by Friday of election week that Joe Biden would win the presidency, says John King.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer (left) and John King (right)
CNN's Wolf Blitzer (left) and John King (right)
Image: John King/Twitter

CNN NEWS ANCHOR John King, who was at the centre of the network’s coverage of the US Election, wants to return to Ireland as a tourist to visit family and retrace his roots.

Speaking on Sunday with Miriam on RTÉ Radio One, King said that he is eager to come to Ireland to visit relatives and trace his family history when Covid-19 has been alleviated.

King, CNN’s chief national correspondent, was the face of much of the network’s coverage of the recent election.

He attracted positive attention from CNN viewers, including watchers from Ireland who picked up on his Irish roots.

King told O’Callaghan on the radio today that he would “would like to come [to Ireland] and I would tell the barkeeper right now that it better be more than one pint”.

“I’ve been to Ireland several times but always for work. I covered the White House for a long time, so I was there with President Clinton and President Bush, but I’ve never been there just as a visitor or tourist or as an Irish American to retrace my roots, and that’s my fault,” King said.

One of the great seeds planted in me from this election and the interest in Ireland is to make sure I get there not just once, but to begin the journey soon.

“My mission out of this election is, I keep telling [cousin Jacqueline Kenny], I’m gonna come visit as soon as I can and learn more about it.”

King said he believed that Joe Biden’s win over incumbent Donald Trump will be a positive for Ireland.

He said that Trump has “little interest in anything outside the shores of the United States” unless it was in his interests.

“Joe Biden loves to stress his Irish roots.  And so of all the countries in the world who could think, ‘we’ll get more attention’ or our phone calls are gonna get returned’ or that “Team Biden will pay attention to us,’ I think Ireland can be very happy,” King said.

CNN is among US news outlets that called the election for Joe Biden on Saturday, 7 November.

As votes were counted after Election Day on 3 November, CNN called the races in each state as enough votes came in to project a winner.

King said that for this election in particular, the CNN team were especially cautious with calling a result.

I think there’s great theatre in a close election – why would you want to end a play in the middle?”

“We are very cautious. We do project states when we have enough data to tell us, even though there are still votes to be counted, statistical probabilities and the like, but we’re a lot more cautious,” King said.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

“In this election, because of how everything was so unusual and how different states were doing it in different ways, we made it a rule coming in that we’re going to have precaution as a standard, we’re going to have very clear standards and metrics about how we make decisions, and we will not bend those rules,” he said.

“It was obvious to us on Friday that Biden was going to win, but we had to wait until more votes came in on Saturday to make the call because we had put these rules down, we had tested them for months, and you can’t bend them, it’s just not right.”

King, whose Irish roots are in Galway, impressed viewers of CNN’s coverage with his knowledge of regional and local politics across the US.

“I’ve been to all 50 states many times and I’ve been to some of them 20 or 30 times… And a lot of those counties that we know are the key counties that decide elections, I’ve spent time there, year after year after year,” King said.

“Because those are the places I visit when I can get out into America… Where my hands are going on the map is where I’ve lived my life, if you will.”

About the author:

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel