CNN, during Friday afternoon’s two-hour Rick’s List hosted by Rick Sanchez, had an edge on the competition when it was the only commercial news channel to beam live coverage of Sarah Palin speaking to about 1,400 cheering attendees at a Republican fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, notes Grumpy Editor.
But half-way through her fiery speech --- and just when she started to hammer inaccuracies in reporting by media --- Sanchez abruptly broke in for some “breaking news” with a live report on a US Airways aircraft, already safely on the ground and at the gate at San Francisco airport, that had been diverted because of smoke in the cockpit.
There was no apparent incident, no injuries and an airport spokesman said the plane, bound from Phoenix to Maui, landed “uneventfully” and taxied to the gate.
CNN then went on to its usual programming and commercials --- leaving uninterrupted live coverage of Palin’s speech to C-SPAN, which repeated the Iowa event over the weekend.
The US Airways aircraft’s forced landing was hardly noticed in Bay Area media. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Web site ran a short Associated Press story.
The appearance and speech of the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee at the Iowa Republican Party’s annual Ronald Reagan dinner was of special interest to many --- including media --- in seeking a clue on whether she has intentions on running for president in 2012.
More than 50 news organizations from as far away as London sought credentials for the Des Moines event.