State of the Union vs. Christopher Dorner: National News Sticks to Obama, Locals on Big Bear Shootout
State of the Union vs. Christopher Dorner: National News Sticks With Obama, Locals on Big Bear Shootout
Television news networks and cable channels' coverage of the standoff with suspected cop-killer Christopher Dorner generally gave way to the President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.
At 6 p.m. PT, CNN began broadcasting the president's address, while its sister channel, HLN, continued coverage with Anderson Cooper and Nancy Grace in Southern California, where Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer, had apparently holed up in a cabin near Big Big after a firefight with police. The cabin was engulfed in flames and it was unclear if Dorner was still in the cabin.
Like CNN, local CBS, ABC and Fox affiliates in Los Angeles broadcast coverage of the address. Fox News and MSNBC, too, were on the State of the Union. And KCET, one of Los Angeles's two public broadcasters, carried the address with coverage led by Val Zavala and Madeleine Brand. KOCE, the local PBS affiliate, also covered the speech.
Close to 7 p.m. PT, ABC put a crawl at the bottom of the screen saying the body of a man believed to be Dorner was identified in Big Bear. The ticker advised viewers to visit their site or watch a special after the address.
But the CW-affiliate KTLA continued coverage, switching between B-roll of the pine-dotted mountains around Big Bear and ambulances outside a hospital where one of two San Bernadino County deputy shot earlier on Tuesday had reportedly died.
And KCAL, a secondary CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, remained on the Dorner story through the president's address, as did KCOP, a MyNetworkTV-affiliate, a company owned by News Corporation.
A news divide has not been seen for more than a decade. In 1997, then-President Bill Clinton's State of the Union was split-screened by numerous networks as the civil verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial was read.