Commentator Who Has Specialized in Analyzing TV News Reporting for the Past 30 Years Rates Last Night’s Election Coverage on Cable and Broadcast — Including Naming Who Did the Best Individual Job

Nov 7, 2018  •  Post A Comment

One informed opinion on which TV news outlets and personalities handled the midterm elections the best — and which ones didn’t fare quite as well — is provided by veteran TV news analyst Andrew Tyndall in a guest commentary today in The Hollywood Reporter.

“For all the disaggregation of the news in this digital age, television remains the default medium for citizens on Election Day when they need to find out who is next going to govern them,” Tyndall writes.

After explaining how he assessed the coverage on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS, Tyndall concludes: “Of all the networks, CNN did the clearest job at showing off the four separate components of its journalistic toolbox: data delivery, field reporting, analysis, and opinion. John King at his map delivered data; remote camera crews at various campaign headquarters streamed video from the field; Jake Tapper tried to make sense of developments; and Anderson Cooper served as ringmaster to an unruly collection of political spinmeisters.”

But Tyndall’s critique of CNN was far from universally positive, as he noted that the network’s division of labor “is not an apt fit for an election night’s flow of information, which starts as a trickle – as we wait for polls to close in major states and for results to be projected – and then suddenly turns into a torrent.”

As for an individual standout, Tyndall offered praise for ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

“Stephanopoulos showed off his political chops by knowing all the races inside out. He showed off his analytic judgment by balancing House and Senate and Governors’ races properly. He showed off his live television anchoring skills by eliciting short on-point comments from anyone on his giant bench, but never allowing the rambling self-promotion or petulant slanging matches that are the feature of Cooper’s circus on CNN,” Tyndall writes.

We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR to read Tyndall’s full analysis, which includes plenty of criticism to go around.

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