Like millions of Americans (I presume), I was in front of the television set late last night awaiting the president's comments on the death of Osama bin Laden. After a certain amount of channel surfing, in which we saw a lot of talking heads all saying pretty much the same things, we ended up on CBS.
As I waited for the president, I also had Twitter running on my phone. Tellingly, it was Twitter that first brought me the news of bin Laden's demise. (Actually, it was my wife calling down from upstairs shortly before 10:00 p.m. CDT that a friend of our son had just texted him the news, prompting me to check Twitter. It would be several minutes before my e-mail started popping with news alerts from various sources.) By and by, tweets began to appear describing scenes of celebrating crowds that had gathered in front of the White House, cheering, chanting, and singing the national anthem.
And then CBS's White House bloke interrupts himself to say that his producer had just stepped outside and reported back that crowds had gathered, cheering, chanting, etc.
And my thought was, Where was the news?
Here we have a guy standing in front of a sign saying CBS News White House, and reporting that his producer ran outside to see what was going on. But where were the pictures? It seems to me that even two or three years ago, the reporter would have interrupted himself to throw to another reporter out on Pennsylvania Avenue, showing us the cheering, chanting, singing crowds. But that costs money, I suppose, so instead we have a talking head telling us what is going on outside the building.
I might as well have been listening on the radio.
Or reading it on Twitter.