COMMENTS: Ciancia’s Grudge Against TSA Screeners

Friday's top story -- the shooting of federal TSA screeners in one of the terminals at Los Angeles Airport -- was Story of the Day once more and the lead story on both NBC and CBS. ABC decided to lead with a sports story instead, the feud between two National Football League linemen inside the Miami Dolphins lockerroom. Jonathan Martin, 6'5" 310lbs, has left the team protesting his teammate's abusive behavior; Richie Incognito, 6'3" 320lbs, has been suspended because of said abuse.

At LAX, accused gunman Paul Ciancia was shot in the head by police before he was arrested. So there was no news about his interrogation, since none could take place. All three networks filed updates on the investigation from Los Angeles anyway. CBS' Ben Tracy supplied most information on Ciancia's possible political motives, including his mockery of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, his denunciation of the Transportation Security Agency for treachery, and clues about his ties to the New World Order.

Yet CBS' Tracy offered no explanation as to whatever NOW's politics might be. See if you understand what ABC's David Wright was driving at when he offered talkshow host Alex Jones' soundbite about the TSA from Was Jones justifying resentment against TSA screeners? Or was he expressing sympathy for their unpopularity? As for NBC's Miguel Almaguer, if you watched his report, you would be unaware that Ciancia's assault had any political motive whatsoever.

Rounding out the LAX coverage, CBS did what ABC usually does with its Virtual View: John Miller resorted to his network's in-house computer animators for an imaginary recreation of the assault. ABC's Wright had already played his network's in-house Virtual View on Friday. Also supplying visuals was the paparazzi All three networks reran the same video of panicked passengers, with due credit.

All three newscasts also covered the NFL story. As so often happens with broadcast packages that include professional sports video, they were not posted automatically online as a videostream: one of them, filed by NBC's Kerry Sanders, is not to be found. Both CBS' Mark Strassmann and ABC's Matt Gutman relied on in-house sports journalists for a soundbite -- CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora and ESPN's Bob Holtzman respectively. ABC's Gutman also used a clip from the HBO documentary Hard Knocks in which Incognito was overheard insulting Martin.

Besides the NFL, both NBC and ABC closed their newscasts with sports features. NBC's Kate Snow followed up on Friday's up-close-and-personal profile of Tatyana McFadden. McFadden competed in Sunday's New York City Marathon and, as predicted, was victorious once more. Next stop Sochi, for cross-country skiing. What a coincidence! The rights to cover the Sochi Olympics are owned by NBC Sports.

ABC went to Chris Connelly at ESPN's E:60 for its America Strong closing feature. Connelly paid tribute to nonagenarian John Shear, an attendant at the Santa Anita racetrack. What Connelly did not address was what a toddler was doing wandering around the paddock under the hooves of thoroughbred horses in the first place.


You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.