As Democrats Debate, TV News Tunes In Something Other Than Trump

Variety | 6/26/2019 | Brian Steinberg
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NBC News’ “Meet the Press” and CBS News’ “Face The Nation” regularly compete for Sunday-morning audiences and scoops from politicos. But this past weekend they looked nothing like one another.

On NBC, President Donald Trump dominated the hour by sitting down for a taped interview with host Chuck Todd. Over at CBS, “Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan featured a talk with Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the leading Democratic candidates for president.

News - Cycle - Degree - Notes - Larry

“The news cycle has to be split to a greater degree than it was before,” notes Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Covering politics in this moment, he says, means trying to help voters get to know more than 20 Democratic candidates, many of whom aren’t well known by the greater public, and then trying to keep an eye on the President. “It’s all just totally unprecedented,” he adds.

Since Donald Trump was elected to the White House in November of 2016, every pronouncement, prevarication, and social media post he’s made has sparked dozens of headlines, TV screen chyrons and mobile phone alerts. But since the spring, he’s had new competition for dominance of the news cycle. The media is scrambling to cover roughly two dozen potential Democrat hopefuls who hope to challenge Trump, and in doing so have launched a spate of primetime cable news town halls, Rachel Maddow interviews and late-night guest appearances.

Result - Democrat - Spotlights - News - Kliegs

The result: More Democrat spotlights to contend with the never-diminished news kliegs on the White House. “NBC Nightly News” has, since June 10, run a “My Big Idea” segment in which Harry Smith asks individual Democrats about a single policy proposal. The news unit has made extended versions of the conversations available via streaming video and podcast. Meanwhile, consultant Andrew Tyndall has noticed that the three broadcast evening newscasts over the course of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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