CBS’s Chen Thinks Hawaii is In Atlantic Ocean

On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith was introducing a report on the winner of National Geographic’s annual geography bee and became confused by some geographical trivia: "In which ocean are the South Sandwich Islands located? A sixth grader from Nebraska answered that question. It's in the -- is it in the Atlantic? I thought the Sandwich Islands were actually named after the earl of -- it's Hawaii. That's not right. I'm so sorry."

At that point, co-host Julie Chen showed that she was not quite ready to compete in the geography bee:

JULIE CHEN: No, it's in which ocean, so that is right. So it's the Atlantic Ocean.

SMITH: Hawaii is not in the Atlantic Ocean.

CHEN: Oh, it's in the Pacific.

SMITH: Yeah.

Smith, who earlier in the show bragged: "we’re big geography nuts in our house," understandably confused the South Sandwich Islands, located in the southern Atlantic Ocean off the tip of Argentina, with the Sandwich Islands, the original name given to Hawaii, after the British Earl of Sandwich. Smith later made the correction: " Okay, just to set the record straight, we now -- we had to figure this out, right?...Because the Sandwich Islands are in the Pacific. The South Sandwich islands in the Atlantic. My bad."

However, there does not seem to be any explanation for Chen believing that the Hawaiian Islands were located in the Atlantic Ocean. NBC’s Ann Curry was similarly geographically challenged on the February 4, "Today" show when she couldn’t find the state of Illinois on a map of the United States and pointed to Minnesota instead.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is the Senior News Analyst for MRC