For newsies, breaking news pre-empts the best-laid plans: Carefully-scheduled features, already-written top stories, had-to-book guests, dinner reservations that were made to make up for the last time you canceled. Over at CNN, they've been hyping their environmental/global climate change documentary "Planet In Peril" for weeks, with launch parties and promos and even a symbolic color switch of the CNN logo from red to thematic green. It was scheduled for October 23rd & 24th — and then the SoCal fires struck. Per TVNewser:
A tough choice: broadcast a much-hyped, highly-produced, year-in-the-making special report or stay with a breaking news story that some say is directly related to the subject of that special?
CNN stuck to its guns and went ahead with the airing of part one of Planet in Peril.
"Some say is directly related to the subject of that special" — OMG meta!!! (And also, very careful wording there, TVNewser! Don't want to upset Jim Inhofe!) TVN also reported that Anderson Cooper assured viewers during his own show that they'd be breaking in with updates on the SoCal fires during the broadcast; hard to say how many news junkies who would otherwise have tuned in, or flipped and stayed, did not based on a preference for live coverage. Either way, an interesting dilemma for CNN which obviously has an interest in positioning itself as the network of fullest, most consistent coverage (and, full disclosure, I don't know if MSNBC eschewed their nightly DocBlock for live coverage as they did during the Utah mine tragedy. Someone email me!). There is definitely an argument for juxtaposing the global perspective with the local — even if the local is a series of raging fires engulfing 5,000 acres and displacing almost a million people. CNN knew it wasn't going to miss the end of that story, that's for sure.
Meanwhile, for those who missed PIP last night (PIP! New nickname for Anderson!) you can catch the trailer here. Elephants make fun pets!
By the way, this may be our most favoritest headline ever. Thanks, CNN!