FNC Passes on Obama at Memorial: ‘Cronkite Would Have Wanted the News Covered’

By Chris Ariens 

While CNN and MSNBC dipped in and out of this morning’s memorial service for Walter Cronkite, including airing the remembrance from Pres. Obama, Fox News Channel aired about three minutes of the service, and did not include the president’s remarks.

At the two-hour-25 minute ceremony, Obama was the last to speak. He talked about how the news media of today is different than it was in Cronkite’s time. “Just as the news cycle has shrunk, so has the bottom line,” said Obama to a crowd which included news division presidents and the CEO of CBS Corp., Les Moonves who sat just two seats away from Pres. Obama, with Pres. Clinton in between. Obama continued: “Too often we fill that void with instant commentary and celebrity gossip and the softer stories that Walter disdained rather than the hard news and investigative journalism he championed.”

As the president was speaking in New York, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus was on the Senate floor talking about the state of his healthcare reform bill. Fox News aired coverage from the Senate floor instead.

FNC SVP of News Michael Clemente tells TVNewser, “We ran the most meaningful part live…the tribute from his oldest friend, Andy Rooney. When the President spoke, Senator Baucus was talking through the results of the latest health care negotiations and we suspect that Mr. Cronkite would have wanted the news covered first.”

MSNBC took the entirety of Obama’s tribute, part of Pres. Clinton’s remarks and the remembrance from Tom Brokaw.

CNN aired the remarks from Presidents Obama and Clinton; dipped in and out of Brokaw’s remarks, as well as the performance from Wynton Marsalis and they showed the Rooney taped message in its entirety.