For the second time this week there has been a high speed pursuit in Los Angeles. In both cases, the chases ended when the suspects bailed. Both times, a woman was behind the wheel. And they both occured around the same time of day, NoonPT. Also known as Shepard Smith’s hour on Fox News.
Without a doubt, Smith is the pre-eminent high speed pursuit anchor on cable news. But this week, Fox News chose not to carry either of the pursuits live, even though FOX’s Los Angeles station was live overhead. Today’s pursuit through Downtown LA ended around 12:35pmPT when a police cruiser boxed in the car. Two male passengers and a female driver jumped out running in different directions.
Fox News tells us no policy change has occurred, but rather there’s been an editorial decision not to cover this week’s pursuits.
It was during Smith’s hour last September, that a suspect committed suicide live on the air following a high speed pursuit in Arizona.
Live car chases, with their urgency and unknown and almost always dramatic end, had been a staple on the cable news networks for years. But over time, the lack of inherent national news value outweighed the dramatic live images. CNN and MSNBC have cut back dramatically on the airing of live high speed pursuits. Now, it appears, so too is Fox News.