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Despite a measured, often soft-spoken tone, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley has become a critical evaluator of Pres. Donald Trump during his newscast, a tactic not necessarily used by his fellow evening newsmen.
The AP’s David Bauder writes how the native Texan stands out “in a way that’s unusual for the evening news,” and listed a number of one-liners provided by Pelley:
After Trump’s claim of underreported terrorist attacks last month, Pelley said on his newscast that “it has been a busy day for presidential statements divorced from reality.”
—”The president’s real troubles today were not with the media, but with the facts,” he said on Feb. 24, reporting on a skirmish with the media.
—”Today we learned the length of the president’s fuse — 28 days,” he said, before a story about Trump’s first news conference as president.
—”Some of the problems Mr. Trump promised to solve last night don’t actually exist,” he said on the broadcast after the president’s address to Congress.
—”Today, the president had another Twitter tantrum,” he said on March 3, the day BEFORE Trump accused former Pres. Barack Obama of ordering a wiretap against him.
Pelley’s immediate reaction to Pres. Trump’s first address to the joint session of Congress last month sounded like something you might read in a book:
“A profoundly different speech from the president, one without anger or blame. After an inaugural address in January that spoke of shuttered factories scattered like tombstones, and American carnage, this rested on words including ‘rebirth,’ ‘hope,’ and ‘opportunity,’” Pelley commented.
Pelley delivered pointed remarks after accepting the Texas Medal of Arts Award last month: “How far does it go?’ Is the next enemy of the American people a choreographer, painter, filmmaker, poet a songwriter?,” Pelley continued. “What is the ‘media’ Mr. Trump speaks of? ‘The Media’ is the conversation of 300 million people who have the right to speak and the right to be heard.”
As Bauder mentioned, Pelley doesn’t fit the mold of the loud, uber-opinionated cable newser. Instead, “he’s the buttoned-down anchor of a nightly news summary steeped in tradition, one that reaches between 7 and 8 million viewers a night on a network particularly popular in the nation’s heartland — Trump country. His words carry weight.”
Here’s one of Pelley’s more pointed reports on the current administration: