CNN and MSNBC, two of the three major all-news cable networks, went away empty-handed from the 29th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards held Monday night in New York. (Fox News Channel doesn't enter.)
In fact, MSNBC was only nominated for one award and CNN for four, so neither could have had spectacular nights even if they were winners. Likewise,CBS Evening News with Katie Couric was nominated for just one but didn't win it.
ButDan Rather Reportson HDNet was a winner for a report called "Combat Photographer," about a Marine veteran who documented four years of the Iraqi War.
ABC's Cynthia McFadden, one of the presenters, began the evening with a gentle joke about politics. With her hair piled high, she reached for her reading glasses, as most of the presenters to follow also did, and quipped, "The updo and the glasses are not a political statement."
Later, when Tim Russert received a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award, his son, Luke, picked up on the eyeglass joke and announced, "I'm going to use my real eyes to read this."
CBS veteran Bob Schieffer and PBS documentarian extraordinaire Ken Burns also received Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Schieffer used his time on stage to recite a ringing endorsement of all of the good that journalism does, citing Vietnam, Watergate, Iraq and the current financial crisis as events that were bought to light through hard-news reporting that challenged government accounts. "I'm proud to be a reporter," Schieffer said.
The News and Documentary Emmys, which are open to online reporting, chose two newspapers for Emmys. The Detroit Free Press site, Freep.com, won two Emmys, and the San Jose Mercury News site, MercuryNews.com, won one.