Live Blogging: Senator Ted Kennedy Passes Away…

I don’t know who was first but all the nets have been covering the passing of Ted Kennedy tonight. CNN was simulcasting CNN International at first but then switched over to CNN US with John Roberts picking up the coverage. MSNBC has Christina Brown anchoring its coverage with Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw phoning in. FNC had Ainsley Earhardt anchoring the coverage but the network has inexplicably dropped coverage in favor of joining a Glenn Beck repeat in progress…

Update: According to tweets from the New York Times’ Brian Stelter, FNC was late to live coverage first starting with a ticker and then after going live re-running a canned obit.

Update 2: FNC is back from tape covering it again. What is it with this network and late night breaking news? It did something similar with the Continental/Colgan plane crash in Buffalo earlier this year.

Update 3: FNC is back to Beck again. CNN and MSNBC still live.

Update 4: CNN has a live shot of Hyannis Port, Massachusetts in a split screen. But nothing’s happening…

Update 5: FNC come out of tape again with Earhardt talking to Fred Barnes. We should start a drinking game. Take a drink whenever FNC goes back to tape. On second thought, I don’t have that much booze. Seriously though, this network is supposed to be the #1 cable news network. It’s a major disservice to its viewers to abuse them this way. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that some tuned to other networks for coverage. The network is displaying “America’s News HQ” in its lower thirds. Considering what’s been going on, it’s a hollow boast.

Update 6: MSNBC has Keith Olbermann phoning in. David Gregory is also phoning in.

Update 7: FNC goes to commercial “we’re going to gather our thoughts” as Ainsley Earhardt said. Ooookay. An emailer sends this in…

FNC seems the least prepared for this, once the news broke MSNBC and CNN via CNN International have been live. FNC did quick 2 to 10min reports at 1:30am, 2am and 2:30am then went back to tape. The did not go with full live coverage till 2:50am.

FNC returned from commercial and Earhardt read a statement from Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger and then said this…

I’m going to be talking with the control room because we are flying by the seat of our pants. Rick where are we going next?

An emailer writes…

I don’t know if this will top Cheryl Casone’s coverage of the passing of William Renquist on MSNBC but it’s getting close.

It’s not that similar to MSNBC’s horrid Rehnquist coverage of a few years back. There’s a major difference. I heard from a trusted source that Casone was dropped by the network immediately thereafter with a “do not admit” sign with her picture posted at the Secaucus security gate. Earhardt won’t get similar treatment. For the record, I thought Casone was a convenient scapegoat when the problem was poor execution by the night staff at MSNBC.

Update 8: Wow. FNC can’t stop hard breaks? They just interrupted an interview because Earhardt said they were up against a hard break. Wow. That’s bad.

Update 9: CNN is doggedly keeping that live camera on Hyannis Port which is still showing…nothing but cops milling around.

Update 10: MSNBC wakes up David Shuster for a phone in…

Update 11: FNC goes to commercial again. Earhardt said that on the other side they’ll be simulcasting some local Boston coverage.

Update 12: MSNBC has D.C. Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker live via satellite. This says a lot. It means Whittaker is probably co-ordinating the network’s coverage…

Update 13: Kiran Chetry joins Roberts on the air at CNN. Gonna be a lonnnng morning…

Update 14: FNC goes to WFXT for local coverage…

Update 15: Alex Witt takes over on MSNBC at 4 am. MSNBC also is periodically showing a live shot at Hyannis Port of cops milling around. Meanwhile over on CNN, Roberts and Chetry aren’t on the American Morning set. They’re in the CNN newsroom where reporters do live reports.

Update 16: Witt is interviewing Matthews and Olbermann by phone. Two words: No Doze.

Update 17: FNC re-running Bret Baier’s canned Kennedy Obit. Yet again.

Update 18: An eagle eyed emailer notes something that slipped past me…

CNN coverage still being fed from CNN International on CNN. That’s why the background of the CNN logo is white and the globe is above it plus CNNi has the same coverage on. CNN HD still has the HD side bars so they have not switched to HD from NYC yet.

Update 19: FNC has Caroline Schively reporting live via satellite from Washington D.C.

Update 20: CNN’s Hyannis Port live camera, which had been showing noting but cops milling around, now has a reporter from WCBB talking about what’s (not) going on…while cops mill around in the background.

Update 21: FNC ran something that looked like a DNC video that featured Kennedy. It looks like footage from the Democratic convention last year when it wasn’t sure Kennedy wouldn’t be able to make the event. Then FNC came back to Earhardt and then the phone rang next to her and Earhardt killed it and said, “Excuse me…live television. The phone’s ringing to uh I guess pass along some information.”

Update 22: Alex Witt interviewing Norah O’Donnell via satellite on MSNBC.

Update 23: CNN US has taken over the coverage from CNNI. American Morning set is live but Roberts and Chetry are still in the CNN Newsroom. They’re having some satellite glitches with Joe Johns though. CNN goes to John King. King’s looked better I must say.

Update 24: FNC continues its commercial-a-thon coverage. I know News Corp. took it on the chin last quarter but couldn’t they sacrifice a few bucks?

Update 25: Earhardt comes out of break and trips all over Kennedy’s first name. Earhardt: “It’s been a crazy night. A long night.” No kidding.

Update 26: Lower third taglines – CNN: Sen. Edward Kennedy Dies. MSNBC: Remembering Ted Kennedy. FNC: Doesn’t have one yet. It is putting up a graphic picture of Kennedy with “1932-2009” under it.

Update 27: Morning Joe comes on at 5 am. FNC has not started Fox and Friends yet.

Update 28: Website check…

Update 29: MSNBC has already whipped up an open for the special coverage complete with somber yet respectful music.

Update 30: FNC is running that DNC Kennedy tribute. Yet again.

Update 31: Earhardt, according to a commenter said, “‘In spite of his political views, he was a great American.”

Update 32: FNC switches to Fox and Friends with Brian Kilmeade around 5:20 am. Kilmeade praises work of Earhardt. And with that I’m calling it a night. Blogging resumes when I wake up.


84 Responses to “Live Blogging: Senator Ted Kennedy Passes Away…”

  1. Not too impressed with the Fox coverage. You’ve got Ainsley Airhart, with all the real news presence of a beach ball. A lovely obit piece, done by Bret Baier, that they’re running on an endless loop. Punctuated by the occasional half-asleep call from DC reporters. Unimpressive, it is.

  2. Even less impressive is going back to Glenn Beck. That’s just offensive. It’s Ted Kennedy for God’s sake. You don’t have to be a liberal to appreciate this is an important milestone. Unbelievable.

  3. They finally woke up Fred Barnes. At least that’s something.
    The newsreaders are tolerable until something real happens.

  4. It’s like you can hear the questions being fed into her mike, as she stumbles to repeat them in actual words.

  5. ‘We’re going to gather our thoughts, here’…Truer words.

  6. Isn’t it past that girl’s bedtime? She has no idea who he is.

  7. She can’t even convincingly question people who did know him. How hard is that? Really?

  8. icemannyr Says:

    Ainsley has no clue who most of these guests are.
    This is real bad. If they are going to stay live they better hurry a news anchor in the studio quickly.
    I guess FNC is not #1 for overnight breaking news coverage.

  9. icemannyr Says:

    Ainsley just stopped a guest off for a hard break and the first ad is for a Cancer hospital. Very bad timing.
    FNC can’t stop the ads for Kennedy coverage? WTF?

  10. Mine was Orbitz. Bad enough, especially with the abrupt break.

  11. CNN is still valiantly holding on in it’s fight to cover that driveway. Don’t look now…cops on bikes.

  12. And they can’t even spell Mort Kondracke!!

  13. “Mort, is there anything else you’d like to add?” As in…God please keep talking…slowly. Rick, where are we going?

  14. And she makes a snide comment about the turbines. Today? Really?

  15. icemannyr Says:

    How many times will they use the DNC Speech as filler?

  16. Weeks…

  17. icemannyr Says:

    FNC going to dump to local FOX station coverage soon.

  18. …in between breaks. Now they’re heading to a local affiliate. Please God let it be a grownup.

  19. icemannyr Says:

    by 3:55am CNN has their AM show anchors on the air. FNC? How long must we wait for the a team?

  20. — How long —

    Well, if makeup takes three hours…

  21. Well… Ainsley Hayes was amazed that Ted Kennedy was elected to replace Jack Kennedy in the Senate. Dear lord.

    “Hang on… let me check my notes…” Oh, god this is painful.

  22. icemannyr Says:

    I just wanted to add I’m not bashing FNC just to bash them cause I don’t like the network. This is just plain bad production of a breaking news story. I can’t blame Ainsley for all of this FNC should have known she would have a lack of knowledge on this.

  23. Dead air, anyone?

  24. And here comes the obit again. It’s still lovely.

  25. Why are we all still up. And this is particularly directed at Iceman since I know he’s on the East Coast…

  26. Dead air, anyone?

    I thought it was my cable system.

  27. icemannyr Says:

    CNN’s coverage is still coming from CNN International even though the CNN AM Show anchors are on.

    CNN has not switched to HD from NYC yet. I guess by the American Morning start time they will be in HD without the side bars.

  28. Why does she keep repeating what time they got the news? A time-killer, or should we care?

  29. icemannyr Says:

    FNC’s coverage is so bad you have to stay tuned for what’s going to happen next. FNC continues to let Ainsley flounder.

    They better speed up applying that makeup to Gretchen and Doocy.

  30. Because they got the fax off the machine more quickly?

    God, she’s terrible. This interview Ansley interview with Scheor is just terrible. “He was a good guy.”

    Is there an adult somewhere?

  31. We’re up because we’re newsaholics and this is news…especially when one network becomes a trainwreck. Besides, I’m always up this late on the West Coast.

  32. icemannyr Says:

    “Caroline where are you?” What a mess.
    Try and lose the smile 😛

  33. Even Shively’s giving her a bad look.

  34. Now Airheart (I like that one) doesn’t know that the next anchor is in a side-by-side box, she starts looking to see if someone is sitting next to her….now it’s all a big funny screwup….the other anchor remains stonefaced. I cannot takes my eyes off this.

  35. icemannyr Says:

    More filler on FNC just like a cheap hot dog.
    Now the Tribute Piece from the DNC convention is airing,

  36. Is this a DNC video on FNC? WOW!

  37. ‘We will be sailing on as a nation without him’. Touching.

  38. Laura1? Is that sincere?

    I almost expected a “stay classy America” to follow that line.

  39. No, I really wasn’t touched. Sorry.

  40. — ‘I guess pass along some information.” —

    And, G0d knows we wouldn’t want that.

  41. And then we go to break. And the FNC trainwreck roles on…

  42. How hard would it be for some producer to stick a 5 minute script in the prompter and say… READ THIS every 15 minutes.

  43. ‘No matter how you voted…’ Ainsley has to keep reminding Fox Republicans that its OK to think Kennedy was an important figure. I kinda doubt they’re having a problem with that.

  44. Even us heathens can figure that out.

  45. Okay… Here we go… the 2008 DNC speech again.

    You know if FOX dug up the 1980 Democratic Convention speech Kennedy gave when he conceded to Jimmy Carter they could almost make it all the way to Fox and Friends.

  46. — all the way to Fox and Friends. –.

    And would be a vast improvement.

  47. But not as much fun.

  48. Nice quick cut from the DNC speech to a Beck ad.

  49. And now she can’t pronounce Ted or Kennedy. This is hysterical.

  50. Does everyone here know that FNC found out about Kennedy’s death at 1:25 AM EDT? Because I didn’t until Ainsley Airhead told me.

  51. 1:25 in the morning! Good thing I didn’t start that drinking game. I’d be hammered by now.

    They keep giving her breaks, but Ainsley can’t say Ted Kennedy anymore.

  52. She keeps saying it like Rain Man and Wapner. It’s bizarre.

  53. Hard break anyone?

  54. Geeloma?? What the living h=ll? She’s had over a year to learn how to pronounce that word!

  55. And we went on the air promptly. Because we all care?

  56. It’s like she’s covering up for them being late. If she says it enough times…

  57. ‘In spite of his political views, he was a great American.’ OK, fire her right now. That was inexcusable.

  58. ‘In spite of his political views, he was a great American.’

    You stay classy FOX News.

  59. Geez, I hate agreeing with you but, yeah.

  60. — I hate agreeing with you —

    I meant Remi.

  61. No problem Laura.

  62. Gee…it’s over. Kinda sad. Wonder if we’ll ever see her again..

  63. She certainly went out with a bang.

  64. That’s one word for it.

  65. Darn. I fell asleep early last night. If only I had stayed awake.

    Ainsley really is bad at what she does. She only has her job at this point because she appears on Hannity’s show sometimes. I think that’s why MSNBC keeps Monica Novotny still too since she appeared on Countdown at one point.

    But back to FNC, couldn’t they get a good anchor in at some point. Shouldn’t they have been prepared for this. It’s not like Ted Kennedy’s death was a total surprise.

  66. biznews247 Says:

    OKAY, I KNOW THIS WILL GO TOTALLY AGAINST THE GRAIN OF MOST OF YOU, HOWEVER, as a New Jersey resident who lives one town from the parents of the woman Teddy K MURDERED in his drunk driving off the side of the bridge episode when he failed to report for TEN HOURS that his compansion was trapped in the car and most likely had drowned – but he was more concerned about HIMSELF (as usual) and his political future ….. let’s just say I think the coverage FOX is giving Teddy K’s death this morning is TOO MUCH and rebroadcasts of Glenn Beck are far more valuable to our declining society.

    Everyone is upset with Kadafi coming to Englewood because he celebrated the release of the Lockerbie murderer …. well the US Media’s celebration of the “LIFE of INTEGRITY” of Ted Kennedy is of equal disgrace. INTEGRITY ??? Are they f—ing kidding me?? Teddy K is a womanizing drunk who conned the people of Massachusetts into thinking he was “Royalty” and had integrity.

    Any while I’m at it …. the apple does not fall far from the tree. Let’s not forget his druggie son Patrick who plowed his car recently into a Washington DC security guards building. Will REHAB PAT be the next generation of Kennedy to be celebrated along with his rapist cousin William Kennedy Smith ??

    If you think I’m just “anti-Kennedy” let me close by saying that John F. Kennedy, Jr. was a Kennedy I liked and had hoped would go on to become a political leader in our country. He had brains and class, much like his mother.

    Oh yeah, as for Ainsley at FOX. She is not the best reporter on cable by far, but she IS a compasionate and truly nice person with more class and dignity than the majority of “journalists” on cable TV.

    CAMELOT died a long time ago, not last night. WAKE UP AMERICA!!

  67. unclearthur Says:

    biznews247 Says:

    I was expecting someone to crap all over the thread long before this. Amazing restraint on the part of the wingnuts.

  68. zonedaiatlas Says:

    I didn’t see restraints from the Moonbats when Reagan, Tony Snow or anybody from the other political isle passed away.

    I’m sorry but I have nothing nice to say about Ted Kennedy. He lived a long and good life, too bad Mary Jo Kopechne wasn’t there to see it….

  69. missy5537 Says:

    Guys, you’ve all accused FNC of leaning right, and now that they continue with their conservative programming, you are surprised?

    If I were a lib (and therefore a fan/ally of Sen. K), the LAST place I’d go to for coverage is FNC. Our country is deeply divided right now, and Kennedy represents the extreme far left. FNC DID report on the story, brought in some people for discussion and will continue to report on it.

    But forgive them if they don’t go overboard, OK?

    I’m sure Geraldo will chime in at one point with accolades, and other libs will appear as well. But to be surprised that Glenn Beck wasn’t pre-empted is a strange reaction. Beck is currently covering an important topic right now (all of 0bama’s “czars”, and DVR’ers or other viewers may have really wanted to see that topic covered.

    From the coverage I’ve seen, they reported the story, respectfully, but not over the top. That’s all.

  70. Missed you grave-stomping morons last night. OK, I lied. It was nice to have a running commentary about actual cable news coverage for a while before the “Teddy K was a drunk murderer” stuff started.

    I had a running commentary going on the side in e-mail with someone in which we both agreed Chappaquidick was a tragedy for the girl, not him, but we both had the decency to leave it alone for the moment. Nice while it lasted.

  71. zonedaiatlas Says:

    There were a lot of grave stomping morons when Reagan, Tony Snow, Novak or anyone who were Republicans. Love the double standard and hypocrisy. I have nothing nice to say about Sen. Ted Kennedy and I won’t have nothing nice to say about Sen. Byrd either when he passes away…

  72. And we’re all richer for knowing that.

  73. I’m glad I slept through the FNC trainwreck.

    I have no love for Ted Kennedy, but I believe in respecting those who have passed.

    There will be no negative comments about him from me today.

  74. Bless you, my son. 🙂

  75. asleeporawake Says:

    Fox News is clearly showing their partisanship on this one but they know what their viewers want and it’s not a memorial of a Democratic giant (the likes of which their party has never produced nor likely ever will). However for them to try and claim they are somehow fair and balanced on this one is laughable. The attacks here on Kennedy? Just disgusting.

  76. You the man, Red. I don’t care who it is…Kennedy, Reagan, Snow, it doesn’t matter…I have no stomach for anonymous blog commenters who can’t at least wait 24 hours to start baggin’ on the individual.

  77. missy5537 Says:

    “Fox News is clearly showing their partisanship on this one but they know what their viewers want and it’s not a memorial of a Democratic giant (the likes of which their party has never produced nor likely ever will). ”

    “asleep”, did you forget about one Ronald Wilson Reagan, who left this earth in 2004? Cable news AND network TV covered him 24/7 for an entire week, and deservedly so.

    He was to conservatives what Kennedy is to you liberals, I presume.

  78. Asleep, please go back to bed and wake up when you have some semblance of reality.

    “a Democratic giant (the likes of which their party has never produced”

    Have you ever heard of Ronald Reagan? The most beloved U.S. President of all time?

    How about Abraham Lincoln?

    Or Teddy Roosevelt?

    Have you not taken that 3rd grade history class yet? Or did you flunk it?

  79. missy5537 Says:

    And Joe, sorry, but if other posters want to bring up his past, let them. You’d be just as upset if it were hour 25 when the issue was mentioned.

    Do you think if Mark Foley, Larry Craig or Mark Sanford died that their scandals wouldn’t be in the first paragraph of any obituary? Think again!

    I think the Kennedy incident was horrific, but what is more bothersome to me was his very “pro-choice” stance on abortion. The loss of life arising from that position far outweighs the aforementioned incident of 1969 (note that I am trying NOT to use certain key words, lest I’d further upset you people).

    And with that, I will refrain from further comment today.

  80. — Mark Foley, Larry Craig or Mark Sanford —

    The Moe, Larry, and Curly of our party. Really not fit to be mentioned in the same breath.
    No offense to Stooge fans.

  81. Missy, it is presumptuous of you to state that I would be “just as upset if it were hour 25.” You don’t know that and it’s not true. Many cable commentators referenced Chappaquiddick last night. It’s a part of Kennedy’s history and would be silly to ignore. My complaint is with commenters shouting (literally) ‘murderer’ just a few hours after his death. I’m not stupid, I know the tenor this blog gets to sometimes, and I know eventually this stuff will happen. Just give it 24 hours, please…like you did. You managed to object to his abortion stance without shouting epithets.

  82. I like FNC’s approach today. They’re running extensive Kennedy coverage, but also doing other news. I don’t see why anybody needs wall-to-wall coverage of their passing – there really is only so much to be said. Cable news should still cover news of the day. Glenn Beck reruns don’t count. That’s not news.

  83. […] Ainsley Earhardt’s live coverage of Senator Ted Kennedy’s death. By all accounts, she still displays absolutely no skill whatsoever in adlibbing and handling breaking news. Hopefully that means the end of her grating appearances co-anchoring on the weekend news shows. […]

  84. […] But Fox broke in at 1:26 before MSNBC.   Its not enough anymore who’s first on the air.  It’s now who tweets first.  First on Twitter trumpets Mediaite, which tracks this sort of thing for paying clients of Abrams Research, was a CNN producer. Inside Cable News has an excellent blow-by-blow of the cable news coverage. […]

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