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That's been a question challenging the media for quite a while, and Tuesday night was no exception with U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann offering a Tea Party response to President Barack Obama's speech following the official GOP response from U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.
Frankly, I was surprised to see that CNN was the only cable or network channel to offer live coverage of Bachmann's response. At least, that's the best I could determine with my channel hopping and calls to network and cable publicists afterward. Not even C-SPAN seemed to be offering live coverage of this unprecedented response-beyond-the-response.
While I have been critical of some of CNN's recent political and breaking news coverage, I think this was an excellent call by management. Bachmann did a better job that anyone else Tuesday night of giving voice to the pain still felt by many in the nation who lost jobs or saw the value of their homes drop dramatically, and CNN made sure she was heard. Good for CNN.
Fox News didn't carry Bachmann's response live, but it did stream her words live on FoxNews.com and then offer excerpts shorty after 11 p.m. on a telecast from the Capitol anchored by Van Susteren. And I thought Van Susteren was excellent in re-capping what had happened during the evening, and then offering informed and sound interviews with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.
Van Susteren and Fox News were exemplary in bringing varied points of view into its discussion of the speeches -- and treating all sides with respect. Fox News would not exactly be considered the friendly confines for U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, but she was treated as respectfully by Van Susteren as any GOP or Tea Party conservative. Good for Fox News and Van Susteren.
On the other hand, and again I was channel hopping, but I didn't see any coverage of the Tea Party response on MSNBC. Nor, in fact, did I see any conservatives period on the MSNBC coverage anchored by Rachel Maddow.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
SOTU: CNN, Fox wisely cover Tea Party, Bachmann
From David Zurawick, Z On TV, Baltimore Sun:
Posted 7:04:00 AM