election 2020

John King and Dana Bash’s Son Said Seeing His Parents on TikTok Was ‘Kind of’ Cool

Dana Bash and John King. Photo: Courtesy of CNN/YouTube

As some of us remembered while watching CNN’s election coverage a few years, er, weeks ago, John King and Dana Bash were once married. King, the network’s chief national correspondent and magic-wall operator, and Bash, the chief political correspondent, married in 2008 and separated in 2012, and have covered multiple presidential elections together since. But when it comes to this year’s coverage, we care more about their son Jonah, now 9 years old. “My son now thinks, certainly his father [John King] and me a little bit less, are a little bit cool,” Bash explained to Esquire in an oral history of CNN’s Election Week coverage. “His father is all over TikTok; I’m a little bit on TikTok. That’s his arbiter of what’s cool.” King added, “Somebody forwarded me a couple of TikTok things, and I forwarded them to my son. I text him. I said, ‘See, your old man is kind of cool,’ and he just texted me back, ‘Kind of.’” These kids! At least he was sweet to his mom at the end of the week. “I got home Saturday and my son had a big bouquet of flowers and he was like, ‘Mommy, you were amazing,’” Bash said. “I just forgot about everything else.” And Jonah Bash wasn’t the only kid watching his parents on TikTok either. “My daughter, Alice, was for the first time I think impressed because, apparently, the TikTok crew was watching a lot of CNN that week,” Jake Tapper said. “So she was impressed that people on TikTok knew me, which was nice.”

Otherwise, the week sounds to be a whirl of caffeine, snacks, and short naps. King, for one, revealed he kept Kind bars behind the magic wall. He also assured us he kept clean. “The American people should know that I bathe every day,” he said. “I promise. I took a shower every day and changed my suit every day. I keep a couple of extra shirts in my office.” Bash, meanwhile, remembered catching some sleep on her office couch hours before CNN called the race on November 7. “I’m little, I’m like 5’2”. And my producer is 5’10”. And I was like, hey, we’re going to do this. We’re going to sleep,” she said. “And we did it because we were so tired; we cuddled up on the couch and slept hard for an hour and a half. She was like ‘I can’t believe we’re doing this’ and I was like, ‘We’re beyond can’t believe.’”

As for the rest of the CNN crew: Wolf Blitzer detailed his beard-trimming routine (twice a week, “it takes exactly two minutes”) and longed for his beloved Starbucks Venti skim lattes, which he couldn’t get during coverage. Gloria Borger gave us heart palpitations detailing her caffeine routine, “a pint of coffee every morning and all during the day” and “Diet Cokes in the afternoon.” Tapper played Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly” in the office and wants you to know that cough wasn’t emotions, it was just “because I’d been talking for a week.” Van Jones, meanwhile, explained his own emotional moment when the election was called. “Suddenly all those people are reaching out to me. And it dropped me back into my body, and I realized I hadn’t been in my body, my feelings, for years,” he said. “I think I surprised myself as much as anybody else with what I said and the emotions behind it. I didn’t realize how much I was sitting on, and I think probably a lot of people around the world felt the same way.”

And, in case you were worried, yes, King did have fun. “I love a big story, and I’m an adrenaline freak,” he said. “I love elections. It’s what I’ve done all my life in journalism, and so of course you’re like, ‘Can I stay a little longer? What if this is going to happen?’ You want to be there for the big moment.”

John King and Dana Bash’s Son Thinks They’re Cool Now