COMMENTS: Obama’s Emergency Landing

The news from the campaign trail proper concerned the negotiations between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton about the order of business at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Both ABC's Kate Snow and CBS' Dean Reynolds covered the decision to allow Rodham Clinton to be put into nomination for a formal roll call vote. Reynolds unidentified "sources" told him that it will be all for show. She "is expected to formally release her delegates and encourage them to follow her lead and vote for Obama."

Brian Ross' coverage of the Obama campaign for ABC was a follow-up to its plane's unscheduled landing at the airport in St Louis in the first week of July. At the time, the Federal Aviation Administration stopped short of calling it an emergency. Now Ross produces air traffic control audiotapes to show that the pilot had formally designated it as such and had requested fire and crash rescue equipment to be on stand-by on the runway. Ross reported that an evacuation slide had inflated inside the jet's tail, disabling the plane's steering cables. It was not until the plane descended from 32,000 feet to 10,000 feet that the pressure on the cables was relieved and the pilot regained control

CBS assigned technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg to compare and contrast the online efforts of the two candidates. His verdict: John McCain's Website "it still playing catch-up to Obama's use of cyberspace." Item: Obama's site targets 18 separate demographic and interest groups; McCain's six. Item: Obama's offers a facility for supporters to organize events; McCain issues talking points. Item: Obama has seven times as many social network friends as McCain does. Item: according to designer Doug Jaeger of, Obama's site is "clean;" McCain's is "cluttered." Sieberg's sole consolation for the Republican is that "there is no guarantee that online enthusiasm will translate into votes."


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