CBS and NBC took time Wednesday night to showcase Democratic Senator Al Franken's artistry -- not to scold Franken's frivolity, but to luxuriate in it. As CBS displayed Franken's drawing of Republican Senator Jeff Sessions next to a picture of the Alabamian, fill-in anchor Scott Pelley admired what Franken had created during the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elana Kagan:
A look over Franken's shoulder reveals his talent. On his pad is a sketch of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. Not bad. Suitable for framing.
Over on the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams relayed, sans Pelley's “suitable for framing” puffery:
Well, if you have ever wondered what Senators do during committee hearings when they're not talking? Here's what one of them does. Senator Al Franken drew this depiction of fellow committee member Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a pencil drawing on United States Senate stationery. Franken said he would give the signed original to Sessions.
Pelley's entire item, which followed a story from Jan Crawford on the hearing, aired on the June 30 CBS Evening News:
What is a Senator to do at one of these hearings when other Senators are talking? Well, it can be an art just staying engaged and for Minnesota's Al Franken at the Kagan hearing the art is quite real. A look over Franken's shoulder reveals his talent. On his pad is a sketch of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. Not bad. Suitable for framing.