Monday, August 27, 2012

Ignoring The Convention

CNN moves O'Brien, Cooper to NOLA

By Good-Looking Dylan Byers | 8/27/12 -- 9:08 AM EDT

TAMPA -- In a move that signals how Tropical Storm Isaac threatens to eclipse the Republican convention, CNN has announced that it is sending Soledad O'Brien and Anderson Cooper to New Orleans.

The storm, which is bypassing Tampa and on course for the north Gulf Coast (and very possibly New Orleans), could now pose far bigger problems for the Republicans than high winds and waves ever would. There is a very real fear among Republicans that a natural disaster in New Orleans (seven years after Hurricane Katrina) or nearby could all but eclipse the convention -- or, worse, create an unfavorable "split-screen situation" in which images of Hurricane damage are juxtaposed with the theatrics of Mitt Romney's nomination.

Earlier this morning, the Boston Globe's Glen Johnson put in print what all of Tampa is talking about:
    Consider for a moment the juxtaposition of President Obama marshaling his administration’s forces and personally visiting New Orleans or Mobile, Ala., in the aftermath of the storm’s landfall, all while the convention hall is filled with delegates dressed in funny hats listening to partisan speeches.

    Consider, too, the practical reality of the public and news media being forced to choose between watching a staged political event or coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Johnson believes the convention could be cancelled outright. I'm skeptical. But O'Brien and Cooper's move to New Orleans is the first sign that media attention could shift significantly. For now, NBC's Brian Williams is staying in Tampa, but his colleague Lester Holt has been deployed to New Orleans.


An NBC spokesperson emails:
    Brian (Williams) is staying in Tampa for now. Lester Holt, who is already in New Orleans after traveling after Nightly last night, will lead our coverage there -- which includes Gabe Gutierrez and Tamron Hall, and the full resources of The Weather Channel, including Jim Cantore who is also already in NOLA.
An ABC spokesperson emails:
    We are closely monitoring the storm's path. Diane Sawyer will anchor "World News" from Tampa Bay tonight with the latest reporting on Isaac from our extreme weather team inside the storm zone. ABC News weather editor Sam Champion will report from NOLA. ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee will report from the Mississippi Gulf coast. Matt Gutman is reporting from Key West. Cecilia Vega is also reporting from Tampa.

    (exact locations subject to change as the storm changes)
CBS pending...

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