ABC: Dominated by Gibson’s interview with Palin. After first commercial break, report on 9/11 anniversary including McCain’s and Obama’s visit to Ground Zero. Broadcast ended with clip on Palin’s views on Iraq and America’s mission.
CBS: Led with coverage of 9/11 anniversary. Two minutes in, ran package on day of “national unity” in presidential politics. Recapped McCain event in Pennsylvania and joint meeting at Ground Zero. Briefly mentioned Obama’s lunch with Bill Clinton and attack ads of the last few days. Said Obama “struggled to match or even approach the Republicans’ gut-level ferocity.” Reported on Palin’s return to Alaska for her son’s deployment and said that “campaign officials are shifting gears” to keep her and McCain together on the trail. Ran excerpt of ABC interview with Palin on experience and reported the latest on Troopergate. Briefly mentioned contact between Palin and Rick Warren. Also ran “Where They Stand” package on the candidates’ Iraq policies. Finished with political “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” piece where “the good” was the “tactically successful” Palin pick, “the bad” was the back-and-forth between liberal and conservative bloggers, and “the ugly” was an attack ad from the Kentucky senatorial race.
NBC: Led with Hurricane Ike, then Sept. 11 anniversary, calling it a “day so solemn, it transcends politics.” Noted the halt of verbal combat, negative ads, attacking surrogates for the day. Said 9/11 is a “test” for McCain, Obama, recapping their views on terrorism, foreign policy. Noted Palin’s son’s deployment ceremony, Obama-Clinton lunch, Palin ABC interview. Said Obama is trying to get back on track with joint event with Biden this weekend, heading west next week, but storm could distract voters at a time when every campaigning day counts.