Thursday, September 22, 2016

Do Politics Trump Tragedy?

By: Ann Jacob

For the first time in a long time, the horse race wasn't the main headline. This week's tragedies in New York, New Jersey, Tulsa, Charlotte, and Columbus took the spotlight - and with good reason. 

CBS News covered the all of these incidents extensively however, it was not usually connected to the politicians responses. Overall, CBS seemed far more focused on (and correctly so) reaching protestors and the public to get comment about the issues. CBSN did however talk with's Caitlin Huey-Burns to address how the candidates are using the events to shape their platforms even further. 

Candidate's Reactions

Ahmad Rahimi, alleged
NY/NJ bomber. Credit:
Huey-Burns talked to CBSN anchor Vladimir Duthiers about how alleged bomber Ahmad Rahimi gave Republican candidate Donald Trump more ammunition for his "law and order message," anti-immigration policy, and national security ideas.  In addition, CBS also dove into Trump's support of the stop-and-frisk policy that was ruled unconstitutional in New York. CBS mentioned the fact that stop-and-frisk was a "particularly sore subject for many much of the data shows they were disproportionally targeted by [NYC police.]" It will be interesting to see how CBS will follow-up this story in the next week and how it looks at members of the black community who support Trump. 

There was even less coverage on Clinton's side. CBS discussed how Clinton used the week's events to further her message of the importance of having a complete dossier before making judgements and sticking together as a country. 

This week's deaths and injuries will be a hot topic for next week's debate and although a CBS anchor isn't moderating, it will be intriguing to find out how the network will use debate topics such as "Securing America" to shape the stories and coverage for the next few months. 

Libertarians on 60 Minutes

CBS is taking the reigns on coverage for third party candidate Gary Johnson and running mate Bill Weld. While every network has some explanation of all the candidates, CBS has made it a priority. This week, 60 Minutes had an "primer" with the two Libertarian candidates, to explain what their campaign was about. 

Johnson flubs "Aleppo" question. Credit: MSNBC
While some may call 60 Minutes unfair or too late by already granting the Republican and Democratic tickets interviews, it could also be argued that this interview came at just the right time. Furthermore, it wasn't just an explainer - host Steve Kroft grilled the pair on their view of abolishing institutions like the IRS and Department of National Security. He also asked Johnson about his Aleppo flub to which Johnson repeatedly admitted he made a mistake, something Kroft noted was an action very few candidates ever take. To that, Johnson said, "There is no quicker way to fix mistakes than actually acknowledging them in the first place."

CBS also posted a front page story sharing that Johnson set a new milestone by being the first third party candidate to raise $5 million in a single month. While this story was covered by other outlets, CBS's repeat actions to give Johnson exposure is refreshing and captivating. 

No comments: