The news that former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin would appear at a rally and endorse Donald Trump broke hours before the broadcast evening newscasts, but the story still earned across-the-board lead coverage.
On ABC’s World News Tonight, the Palin story was called a “bombshell” and played out with great urgency. “Breaking news tonight at this hour, Sarah Palin is back,” said anchor David Muir as a full screen graphic dubbed it “The Palin Factor.”
It was “breaking political news” at NBC, where Nightly News anchor Lester Holt tossed to correspondent Katy Tur, who said “we’re awaiting (Trump and Palin) to take the stage any moment right now, the Annie Oakley to Trump’s P.T. Barnum.”
At the CBS Evening News, a standing Scott Pelley described the endorsement as a key victory for Trump over his closest rival, Ted Cruz. “Trump gets his biggest endorsement less than two weeks before the first vote,” Pelley said.