While all three newscasts included a report from their White House correspondent, CBS' Chip Reid is developing a distinctive style for covering Barack Obama's new administration that is, frankly, confusing. NBC's Chuck Todd and ABC's Jake Tapper chose the traditional approach: select the most newsworthy element of the President's day and devote almost all of that day's report to explaining its significance. NBC's Todd chose the confirmation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner by the Senate in a 60-34 vote and the various policy priorities that now face him. ABC's Tapper focused on Obama's orders to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to consider new regulations to limit carbon dioxide and increase fuel efficiency in automobiles.
On CBS, Reid takes the opposite approach. Instead of finding what was newsworthy in the President's day and focusing that development, Reid treats his daily calendar itself as newsworthy. For Reid, the man Obama is the story, not what engages him. So on this day, he filed an omnibus report that included negotiations on fiscal stimulus, those automobile orders, Middle East envoy George Mitchell and upcoming direct diplomacy with Iran. Friday, Reid combined the fiscal with global abortion policy and CIA drone attacks on Pakistan. Thursday, his potpourri included ethics, Guantanamo Bay, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and outreach to the White House press corps.
You, dear reader, check Reid's reports and decide for yourself. To Tyndall Report, his personalized perspective on the new President is a distraction.
To be fair, both Tapper and Todd did round out their coverage with a tidbit unrelated to their primary theme. NBC's Todd shared the venue of Barack Obama's first television interview since taking office: al-Arabiya. ABC's Tapper told us that White House staffers wanted him to publicize their crashed computer server: "Maybe some of the IT folks are watching World News and they will come in and finally fix our e-mail," they complained.
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