When CNN and NBC News called the election for Barack Obama Tuesday, viewers were offered as clear a snapshot as I have seen of the difference between a news gathering operation like CNN and an propaganda machine like MSNBC.
Paul Ryan being selected as Mitt Romney's GOP running mate was big news late Friday night, and no one on television did a better job of covering it on the fly than MSNBC. I can't believe I typed those words either.
Alan Gross, the Maryland man who is serving 15 years in a Cuban prison after taking communications equipment into the communist nation, is asking authorities there to let him return to the United States.
What sets "Game Change" part is how it has radically shortened the distance between real-life events and their Hollywood depiction. As the producers deftly blend actual news footage and dramatic recreations, "Game Change" vaporizes the lines of fact and fiction as you watch.
And so it is that I will come to TV tonight hoping to see one of the few anchors who has the stature and the credibility to call out Gingrich on his phony game of pounding the press by telling moderators how "stupid" (one of his favorite words) or "wrong" (another) their questions are take this compromised candidate on.
I hate the unprecedented extent to which Fox News has involved itself in Republican politics, but the channel presented a first-class, rousing and illuminating debate among GOP candidates Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty Thursday night.
And at this crucial moment when we need the down-the-middle, keen analysis that CNN usually provides, what does the cable channel give us instead? Piers Morgan. I can't remember the last time I was as angry as I was last night when CNN decided it was going to stick with Mr. America's Got Talent following the words of the leaders of two branches of government who sounded like they were never going to compromise for all the president's phony use of the word Monday night.
The TV press is doing a conscientious and aggressive job of covering the economic story, without getting routinely played by the political spin doctors trying to use the nation's misery for their team's gain. The news operations doing the best work are CNN, CBS and ABC.
As one media reporter who was genuinely concerned about the turn CNN seemed to be taking last year when it hired Eliot Spitzer, I am not going to try and hide how impressed and pleased I am with the lineup the cable news network announced today.
Jessica Yellin, one of the stars of CNN's outstanding 2008 political coverage, was named chief White House correspondent Tuesday. She replaces Ed Henry, who left to cover the president for Fox News after seven years on the CNN beat.
CNN was the place to be on cable TV Wednesday night if you wanted context and perspective on President Barack Obama's prime-time address on how and when American troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan.