Terrorism at the Boston Marathon – Not since 9/11 have we seen the news networks go to this level of wall to wall coverage of something impacting the USA. It was not uncommon to see some cable news anchors on two of the three US networks spend ten hours on the air.
The Hunt for the Bombers – After the initial incidents coverage quickly pivoted to identifying and finding those responsible for the bombings.
Jumping the gun – In a fluid situation one should expect some fudge factor to creep in to the reporting. It is up to the networks to remain vigilant and double and triple check sources. But sometimes even following the rules won’t protect you. We witnessed several examples of that this week. The optics of this look bad but I’m probably a little more forgiving than others in one regard. It’s one thing to do something stupid like reading something on Twitter and immediately putting it on the air…if you’re going to be that reckless you deserve all the ridicule you’ll get. But if you do your legwork correctly and you are being fed (what turned out later to be) incorrect information by official responsible parties, what are you supposed to do? Ignore it? This is why I’m going to put this under the Hot category rather than the Not Hot category.
BOOM! – Phil Griffin cackles at FNC in the morning…FNC does the PR equivalent of squashing Griffin like a bug in the afternoon.
That Said – Griffin had a point and FNC’s public response to the criticism of not covering Obama’s public address (or political campaign if you are so inclined to call it that) was weak. Even Guttfeld realized it wasn’t handled well at the time.
Not All Demo Ratings Are Created Equal – MSNBC’s Demo ratings not being able to scale the way CNN’s and FNC’s did for the Boston attack underscored a weakness in its ability to deliver news in the public’s eyes.
Martin Bashir Covering Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral – I wouldn’t have a problem with Bashir doing it except, as Mediaite’s Noah Rothman pointed out, Bashir was none too kind to the Iron Lady after she passed away. Bashir in effect poisoned his own well and should have had coverage duty taken away from him as a result. That MSNBC did not says more about them than it does about Bashir.