Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: TV news shows (1-10 of 116)

How TV is covering the Newtown, CT, school massacre: For the most part, badly, inevitably

The horrific event at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, in which school children and adults were murdered and wounded, brought out the full force — the strengths and weaknesses — of TV news reporting. READ FULL STORY

Fox News airs live shooting, anchor Shepard Smith apologizes: 'We really messed up'-VIDEO

Fox News aired the suicide of a man being chased by police in Arizona. Afterward, anchor Shepard Smith apologized to viewers for allowing that to be broadcast. “We really messed up,” said Smith.

Fox had spent a chunk of Friday afternoon showing live footage of a crime suspect fleeing in a car being followed by police. During the time Shepard’s show went on the air, the man got out of the car, began running in a haphazard manner, then pulled out a gun and seemed to shoot himself in the head. As this was broadcast, Smith could be heard shouting to the control room, “Get off it! Get off it!” That is, stop showing this. READ FULL STORY

Democratic Convention review: Bill Clinton nominates 'a man who's cool on the outside but burns for America on the inside'

Bill Clinton took the stage of the Democratic convention on Wednesday night to the strains of the Fleetwood Mac music he’s made his theme. The gleamin’ vegan, proving he remains the ding-dong-daddy of the Presidency, gave a rip-roaring speech to nominate Barack Obama as, once again, “the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party.” In a surprise appearance, President Obama came onstage after Clinton concluded, and the two hugged, this time to the sound of Tom Petty singing “I Won’t Back Down.” READ FULL STORY

The TV networks' disgraceful Republican Convention prime time scheduling

What could be more important right now than hearing what Republicans have to say about where they would like to steer the country, should their party’s candidate, Mitt Romney, get elected in November? What is more important, in prime time TV in the dregs of summer, than broadcasting speeches proclaiming policy and guiding principles during the Republican convention in Tampa? Apparently, reruns of Castle and Hawaii Five-O.  READ FULL STORY

'The Today Show,' 'GMA,' and 'CBS This Morning': Are these the most complex dramas on network television?

In certain ways, morning TV new shows – The Today Show, Good Morning America, and CBS This Morning — are among the most complicated, compromised, brave, and vexed programming in all of television. The demands made upon these shows and their hosts — to cover hard news and conduct celebrity interviews; to be cheerful, welcoming guests in our homes while also being required to morph into stone-faced reporters when hard-news breaks — make them cauldrons of contradictions. They are feel-good programming and ratings-panderers; they ask for our affection even when, behind the scenes, they are troubled and sometimes in disarray. They make a scripted drama like NCIS look like a school pageant when it comes to complex drama. READ FULL STORY

Mitt Romney gave an unprecedented five TV interviews on Friday night. News value? Next to zero.

Until now, Mitt Romney hasn’t granted interviews to many TV news outlets other than Fox News. But on Friday night, he was interviewed by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox News. His purpose was to blitz-address recent questions about when he ceased any activity as a participant in Bain Capital. Romney says he left the company in 1999, but reporting in numerous places including The Boston Globe has uncovered documents noting that he was listed as the chairman and CEO through 2002. It’s an interesting question, since the answer goes to whether Romney was engaged in any of Bain’s activities in outsourcing jobs after 1999 that resulted in the unemployment of hundreds of Americans. But watching the interviews, I was struck once again at how close-to-useless the nightly new broadcasts of ABC, NBC, and CBS are: They devoted little time to the discrepancies cited above, but instead used most of their precious little time with Romney asking why President Obama’s campaign was asking questions about the discrepancies. In other words, instead of covering the news, what we used to call the “big three” networks covered the horse race, goading Romney into attacking the President and his campaign staff. READ FULL STORY

The Florida primary: Romney wins early, with his 'boot on Gingrich's neck'

By 8 p.m., the Florida primary victory had been called for Mitt Romney by all the news networks. Before the 9 p.m. hour, a shift could be discerned in Romney’s speech: Instead of trying to distinguish himself from the Republican pack of candidates, he looked frequently straight into the TV camera and addressed not merely his cheering campaign staffers, or the state of Florida, but the entire country. And his message to us all was to quote Thomas Paine and then go after the other party: “‘Lead, follow, or get out of the way.’ Mr. President, you were elected to lead, you followed, and now it’s time to get out of the way.” READ FULL STORY

State of the Union TV coverage: High emotions and charged rhetoric

In his last State of the Union address before he faces a re-election challenge, President Obama on Tuesday night called upon Congress to “lower the temperature in this town” and “work together.” But the television high point of the evening occurred just before the speech, as the President, in making his way to the podium, paused to hug Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is resigning this week to recover from her brain injury. A chant of “Gabby, Gabby, Gabby” could be heard throughout the House floor, as Giffords was given a standing ovation. READ FULL STORY

South Carolina primary results and beyond: Where the pundits don't matter

The victory of Newt Gingrich in South Carolina on Saturday night found much of the TV news punditocracy caught flat-footed, grasping for answers beyond cliches about why the defeat of frontrunner Mitt Romney was accomplished so handily. READ FULL STORY

Republican-o-rama: A debate, a wronged wife, a Perry pull-out, a Santorum sally, a Newt of a night

Rick Perry drops out! Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife says he wanted an “open marriage,” with the woman who became his current wife! Herman Cain is climbing aboard the Colbertrain! The Obama campaign released a new ad (see below)! It turns out Rick Santorum scored a victory over Mitt Romney in Iowa! And CNN held a John Kingly debate followed by Anderson Cooperly analysis! On Thursday, things were busier in politics, and in the media covering politics, than Steven Tyler in a roomful of teenage American Idolettes. READ FULL STORY

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