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Networks Defend Palin Coverage - Broadcasting & Cable

Networks Defend Palin Coverage

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Network news executives defended their coverage of the surprise selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as Sen. John McCain's Republican running mate, after several speakers at the Republican convention last week took aim at the media.

"America has been presented with a total unknown who might be a heartbeat away from the presidency," said Jon Klein, the president of CNN, "and Americans have every right to expect as much information as possible about this person so that they can make an informed choice. Certainly our critics are in favor of Americans making an informed choice, aren't they?"

CNN had a dustup with the McCain campaign last week after Campbell Brown's persistent questioning of McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds about Palin's foreign-policy experience.

Networks were also criticized for coverage of news that the socially conservative Palin's 17-year-old unmarried daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant.

"Network news and cable news literally did not touch the story until the press release came out from the [McCain] campaign," said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. " There is nothing to that criticism. Nothing."

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