On Monday’s Evening Newscasts, Where Did Barbaro Belong?

By Brian 

What made the most sense as a lead on the evening news last night: Barbaro or the Middle East?

“ABC led with Barbaro, while NBC led with Iraq” and CBS led with an exclusive about Iranian interference in Iraq, an e-mailer notes.

“The idea that the CBS Evening News is in any way ‘softer’ is dead,” one e-mailer thinks. But another e-mailer thinks ABC made the right decision, saying “NBC doesn’t seem to have a clue.”

Each network had a package about the horse, but at different times in their respective newscasts.

ABC covered Barbaro at 6:30pm. “Today, it was as if we had all lost a friend,” Charles Gibson said at the top of World News. “The great horse Barbaro had to be put down.” CBS covered it with a package around 6:40pm. And NBC held it for the end of the broadcast, with Brian Williams introducing it like this:

“We’ll no doubt hear from some folks who will want to know why, with all that is going on in our world, we chose to spend even some of our precious airtime on a thoroughbred horse. The answer has to do with the fact that some men and women and children across this country cried today when they learned that Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner, had been put to sleep. They will tell you the world lost a great competitor today when the people around him finally said ‘enough…'”

> Update: 4:10pm: An e-mailer remarks: “What do you mean, NBC doesn’t have a clue? How could a network put the death of a horse before a war?”