Alito Hearings: “Stay With It”

By Brian 

A sampling of yesterday’s viewer e-mails:

“I’m watching MSNBC for the Alito hearings today because CNN takes too many commercials. Right now CNN is skipping Sen. Kennedy’s questioning of Alito for commercials.”

“Why would CNN interview Charles Schumer about the Alito nomination and then go to a commercial break when Sen. Leahy is live and questioning Judge Alito?”

“CNN’s Daryn Kagan is showing a building about to be torn down, while Fox has the Alito hearings.”

Now we can add Brian Williams to the list of critics. On Wednesday afternoon he blogged:

“We also got a first-hand lesson (during our afternoon editorial meeting) in the art form of live coverage of a hearing: the moment the anchor on the cable network we happened to be watching felt the need to helpfully ‘explain’ what we were watching, we changed the channel to another that was just airing the hearing. Moments ago, while watching the hearing in my office, another cable network broke away (to cover ‘some of the other news of the day’) and so I broke away from them. I’ve always thought it should be a Cardinal rule: if you chose to invest in live coverage of an ongoing event, stay with it. If your audience has invested in watching it, it’s a good bet they don’t want to watch, or listen to, anything else. They know they have other channels at their disposal.”