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Cable Differs on Healthcare Meetings

The AP’s David Bauder writes about this afternoon’s cable news coverage, or lack of coverage, of the first of three Pres. Obama town hall meetings this week as he continues to sell healthcare reform.

Fox News Channel cut away from President Barack Obama’s town hall meeting on health care reform Tuesday as he faced
a far more polite crowd than has attended many meetings hosted by
members of Congress recently. CNN and MSNBC carried the session in
full. The loud public debates have been a tonic for cable news
networks during normally quiet August.

When FNC cut away, anchors Trace Gallagher and Juliet Huddy interviewed guests and showed soundbites from Sen. Arlen Specter‘s town hall earlier in the day.

“Any contentious questions, anybody yelling, we will bring it to you here,” Gallagher said. Fox never returned to live coverage. Obama seemed to invite tougher questions toward the end of the town hall. “I don’t want people thinking I just have a bunch of
plants in here,” he said. At the event’s end, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell noted the questions were “not too challenging.”

Earlier on TVNewser: Bill O’Reilly on Why Fox News Ratings are Soaring: “A Major Reason is the Healthcare Debate…

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