Random Acts of Thinking

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I have been told that some folks see CNN as leaning left and Fox as veering to the right.

With that in mind, CNN provided almost wall-to-wall coverage of the turnover of power in the Congress from Republicans to Democrats Thursday, with play-by-play from political commentators and the swearing-in in of row upon row of Senators covered to the nth degree.

And speaking of play-by-play, Dr. Sanjay Gupta was even brought on to handicap the health of that stroke-felled Senator, Tim Johnson, reminding me of nothing so much  as a football game's injury update.

Al the while, "Power Shift" and "Democrats Take Control" graphics alternated in the strip below the screen, accompanied by a star shining and a capitol dome revolving like a carousel for what Wofl Blitzer described as "special coverage on this historic day."

Fox, at least during my surfing back and fourth, provided far less live coverage of the switch-over, minus the graphic emphasis and the play-by-play.

It's "high level shift" story appeared, at one point, to be the move of John Negroponte to deputy secretary of state. By early afternoon, Fox's live coverage had picked up, though its graphic was simply "110th Congress."

Hmmm.

And speaking of "hmmmm," while I am on the subject of Fox, I found it noteworthy that Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales ientirely gnored Fox's coverage of the Ford funeral. In a lengthy piece on TV coverage by what he said "might" be called "TV's networks of record — ABC, CBS, NBC and cable's CNN," Shales used that "wink, wink, nod, nod" caveat to avoid mentioning the Fox network at all. He even threw in MSNBC coverage, which can't have rated a pile of viewers..

Shales may not like Fox's "record," but given that network's ratings and the large number of people who do watch Fox for their news coverage, and given that it was the funeral of a key Republican, a party that sometimes finds itself more allied with Fox than others, the ommission stuck out, which I suppose was Shales' point, though a petulant one, I think.

Fox, by the way, provided plenty of coverage of the funeral, and talked over the solemn ceremony less than some of the "networks of record."

By John Eggerton

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