Coverage Turns To The Middle East As Ambassador To Libya Killed

By Alex Weprin 

President Obama will speak shortly about the situation in Libya, in which the U.S. ambassador to the still-young nation was killed by Islamic militants. Mitt Romney also made a brief public statement at 10:15 AM condemning the attacks.

Ambassador Chris Stevens died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate in Benghazi to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack. The 52-year-old was the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.

On MSNBC Richard Engel reported the Ambassador’s death at 5:33 AM on “Way Too Early,” CNN reported the news of the Ambassador’s death at 5:39 AM on “Early Start” citing Reuters, while Fox News reported his death at the start of “Fox & Friends” at 6 AM.

Update: NBC is preempting the fourth hour of “Today” (and going live on the west coast) to continue coverage of the situation in Libya. Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie are leading the network’s coverage. ABC and CBS have switched to the daytime entertainment programming, after extending coverage by around 15 minutes into the 10 AM hour to carry Secretary Clinton’s statement. To their credit, both of those networks went back into special reports around 10:40 AM as President Obama prepared to make a statement. None of the broadcasters carried Romney’s statement live, though NBC took advantage of its control of the 10 AM hour by airing it after the President’s statement.