While political navel lint gazers argued whether Democrats or Republicans were the big winners of Tuesday’s midterm elections that won Dems control of the House and handed the GOP a bigger majority in the Senate, some media outlets also scored varying degrees of success with their midterms coverage.
Best Public Wrist Slap Of Grown-Too-Big-for-Britches On-Air Talent:
Fox News Channel’s biggest ratings getter, Sean Hannity, was MIA from the network’s election night, though Fox News previously had listed the primetime star as a player in its Tuesday night coverage. Two other primetime stars also slated to participate, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, showed up to weigh in on the election results coverage led by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.
One day earlier, Fox News described as an “unfortunate distraction” Hannity’s appearance onstage with President Donald Trump at his final political rally of the midterms push. Hannity earlier had insisted that he would not campaign with Trump, when POTUS’ camp had listed Hannity and Rush Limbaugh as Trump’s “special guests” at the rally.
“In spite of reports, I will be doing a live show from Cape Girardeau and interviewing President Trump before the rally,” Hannity had tweeted. “To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the President. I am covering final rally for my show. Something I have done in every election in the past.”
Maybe further irking Fox News, when he took the rally stage, Hannity began by announcing, “By the way, all those people in the back are fake news” — pointing at the press in the hall, including Fox News journalists.
“Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” Fox News said in a statement. “We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”
Least Necessary Midterm Memo to Recast Storyline on Embattled News Division
Some news outlets obtained a memo the morning after the midterms from NBC News chief Andy Lack to his staff. Lack is very much in the news for the sure-to-be costly end to his 9 AM Today show revamp starring former Fox News Channel star and Halloween blackface apologist Megyn Kelly. Thememo, in which seasoned campaigner Lack praised his staff, and by extension their leader, for Tuesday’s impressive elections coverage, did not do much to dampen press’s enthusiasm for Megyn Kelly ouster incremental updates.
That said, Lack’s strong election numbers spoke volumes. When the dust settled, NBC beating other broadcasters in total viewers and the news demo. Cumed with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow/Brian Williams anchored primetime coverage, NBC News cumed an averagse of 17.1M primetime viewers, with 7.7M in the news demo.
You did something last night that sets us apart from every other news organization. You put forward not one, but two outstanding broadcasts – each helping viewers navigate a complicated national election with hundreds of competitive races and multiple storylines.
And that’s not all. Our ever-expanding digital efforts produced an exceptional live stream, Stay Tuned updates throughout the night, and dynamic coverage on NBCNews.com.
There’s no better example of the combined strength of NBC News and MSNBC. We’re bigger than ever, but more importantly, we’re better than ever.
All in all, we produced more than 50 hours of special coverage across seven unique NBC News platforms. We did it with the best anchors at the desk, 30 plus correspondents spread around the country, fantastic teamwork in our control rooms and newsrooms, cutting-edge vote-tracking technology, with smart and steady hands at the Decision Desk.
There’s more work to do in the days ahead. But I hope you’ll pause for a moment today and take tremendous pride in what we accomplished together.
Many thanks for the extraordinary work…
Most Mileage Gained In Post-Midterms White House Victory Lap
CNN’s Jim Acosta got cast as the hero of Trump’s post-midterms White House victory lap when it broke into verbal brawling because Acosta had poked the presidential bear with his line of questioning about Trump’s hysterical Caravan Invasion rally rhetoric.
“That’s enough! Put down the mic!” Trump ordered Acosta. “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You should not be working for CNN.
“The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. The way you treat other people is horrible!” Trump hissed at Acosta.
Acosta jumped back up and, minus microphone, could be heard talking “pipe bombs” – three of which had been sent to CNN. A rabid Donald Trump supporter in Florida has been arrested for the crime.
“Just sit down!” Trump shouted at Acosta. “When you report fake news, which CNN does, you are the enemy of the people.”
Later, when when CNN contributor April Ryan tried to assume a supporting-character role by jumping up and asking voter-suppression questions, Trump responded”Sit down! I didn’t call on you!” Then he added, “I will give you voter suppression! Take a look at the CNN polls, how inaccurate they were. That’s voter suppression!”