- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Inauguration offers brief pause from TV bickering
Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - The second inauguration of President Barack Obama gave television networks a chance to bask in the majesty of a Washington event that unites Americans of all beliefs and ideologies _ at least for a moment.
Then it was back to business as usual: the dissemination of widely divergent views on what people had just seen for themselves.
ABC, CBS and NBC, along with the cable news networks, cast aside regular programming on Monday to carry the ceremonial swearing-in and Obama’s inaugural address. It didn’t carry the same sense of history that Obama’s first inauguration did. In 2009, even ESPN and MTV covered the swearing-in. This year, ESPN stuck to talk about the upcoming Super Bowl, and MTV aired “Catfish: The TV Show.”
Until the ceremony actually began, the networks were all challenged with the television equivalent of vamping for time. On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell interviewed singer John Legend, who noted that one of his songs was on Obama’s Spotify playlist. NBC discussed first lady Michelle Obama’s new hairstyle.
“Well, what else are we going to talk about?” anchor Brian Williams said apologetically.
Obama’s inaugural address lasted about 18 minutes, seemingly only slightly longer than the inaugural poem and definitely shorter than the evaluations of on-air pundits paid to dissect it.
CBS veteran Washington hand Bob Schieffer, sifting through a transcript of Obama’s speech after it was delivered, said he “didn’t hear a line that kind of sums it all up.” His colleague, Scott Pelley, called it a civil rights speech and noted Obama’s citation of key moments in fights for equality among black Americans, women and gays.
“I felt during much of the speech, I felt like I was listening to a Democratic Ronald Reagan,” said ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl. “Where Reagan was unabashedly conservative, Obama was unabashedly progressive.”
While Karl’s colleague, conservative commentator George Will, said too much of the speech reprised campaign themes, he found links in language used by Obama and inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
On CNN, historian and Obama biographer David Marannis said Obama’s address was much more positive and active than his first inaugural speech four years ago. “I could feel his heart beating this time,” he said.
Chris Matthews said on MSNBC that parts of the speech were “going to drive the right crazy.” A click away on the TV remote at Fox News Channel, analyst Charles Krauthammer was proving it.
“I found this sort of unrelenting,” Krauthammer said. “You get a sense of a man who said, `Alright, I’ve won my second election. I never have to face the electorate again. I’m going to be who I want to be, and I’m going to change the ideological trajectory of this country. That’s my job, and that’s why I’m here historically.’”
Fox’s Brit Hume drew a joking rebuke from a colleague when the camera showed a picture of Beyonce, and he said, “She looks stunning, doesn’t she?”
“Watch out,” Chris Wallace quickly said. “Brent Musburger got in trouble for that, my friend.” After the recent college football national championship, ESPN announcer Musburger was scolded by his bosses for lingering on the beauty of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, the 2012 Miss Alabama USA.
Beyonce “is an incredibly beautiful woman, and there’s nothing wrong with pointing it out,” Fox’s Megyn Kelly said.
TWT Video Picks
Gun rights apply to the District, too
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq