Friday, August 29, 2008

Networks Lose Sarah Palin Guessing Game

Alaska Fake-Out Leaves Pundits Wondering What Went Wrong

With the Democratic National Convention over, the cable networks were left with little to ponder in the presidential race save who would John McCain pick to be his running mate.
After the networks got right the fact that Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney were out, the gang over at "Morning Joe" on MSNBC started wondering about Joe Lieberman, Meg Whitman and Sarah Palin.
But after pondering Palin for a bit, Joe Scarborough announced that ABC confirmed that Palin was still in Alaska.
Of course, that didn't still the Blackberrys among those gathered. Soon after, we were told NBC had confirmed that Palin would be appearing at the Alaska State Fair to unveil the Alaskan version of the quarter.
So much for Palin, or so we thought. Which is what happens when pundits on the cable nets have too much time to talk and ponder, rather than report.
One net that left open the Palin annointment was CNN, which reported on its Web site that a private jet from Alaska had arrived at an airport about 25 miles from Dayton, with a woman, two men and two teenagers on board. "This is the most secretive flight we've ever had," the airport manager said.
Not that CNN should gloat too much. It's still was calling the Palin announcement "breaking news" at 8:30 p.m. ET, about 10 hours after it happened. CNN is guilty of this more often than not. At least make it grammaticallly correct. It's broken news. Once it breaks, it can't keep breaking.

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