South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Monday announced she will appoint Republican U.S. Representative Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate to replace the departing Senator Jim DeMint, but though he will become the “first African American U.S. Senator from the South since Blanche Bruce of Mississippi in 1881” and the only black -- Democrat or Republican -- in the current Senate, neither ABC nor CBS mentioned the news Monday night.
Yes, the newscasts were dominated by the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy, yet the NBC Nightly News managed to squeeze in 24 seconds to note Scott’s historic appointment.
[UPDATE, 3:10 PM EDT Dec 18: On Tuesday morning, ABC’s Good Morning America spiked the news of Scott’s appointment, yet had time for far more frivolous matters, while CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today squeezed in very short items, though Today’s didn’t air until the third hour of the program.]
On ABC’s World News, Diane Sawyer allocated two minutes and thirty seconds to calls for more gun control, one minute and twenty seconds to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s health following a fall which caused a concussion and 35 seconds to the death of Democrat Daniel Inouye, president pro-tempore of the Senate.
The CBS Evening News devoted three minutes and thirty seconds to gun control (but that included anchor Scott Pelley noting a new poll found 66 percent said stricter gun laws would have done “little or nothing” to prevent what occurred in Connecticut and Pelley in an interview segment pushing back against Michael Bloomberg on gun control), a full story on the fiscal cliff and 30 seconds on Inouye.
So, might ABC and CBS catch up Tuesday night? [No, neither mentioned Scott on Tuesday, December 18.]
Brian Williams on the Monday, December 17 NBC Nightly News, over brief video of the announcement before cameras in Columbia with Haley, Scott and DeMint:
Congressman Tim Scott of South Carolina is reportedly about to become the first black Senator from the South since reconstruction. The Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, has chosen Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint. Scott is 47, he has a strong conservative voting record, an inspiring personal story. The official announcement apparently comes tomorrow. There are four years remaining in Senator DeMint’s term.
[UPDATE: While GMA skipped Scott, in the first half hour they found 40 seconds to recount how the highest and “scariest” suspension bridge in the world, at 1,500 feet, opened in the Swiss Alps. In the second half hour, ABC made room for a minute and forty-five seconds on David Beckham’s son getting a modeling job.
The MRC’s Kyle Drennen provided this transcript of Tamron Hall’s 18-second item during her 9 AM EDT (third hour) news summary for Today:
South Carolina’s Governor has chosen Congressman Tim Scott to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint. Scott is a conservative, elected to Congress two years ago on the wave of the Tea Party movement. When he is sworn in next month, Scott will be the only African American in the Senate.
On the December 18 CBS This Morning, the MRC’s Matthew Balan noticed, Charlie Rose read this 20-second brief over an image of a South Carolina newspaper’s headline:
The Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier says Republican Congressman Tim Scott has been appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint. Scott will be the South's first black Senator in modern times. South Carolina’s Governor, Nikki Haley, who appointed Scott, says she chose him for his conservative values. Scott will face an election in 2014. ]