MEDIA
08/28/2012 07:45 am ET | Updated Oct 28, 2012

Isaac Coverage Swamps Republican Convention For One More Morning

Republicans had to endure a second morning of playing second fiddle to Tropical Storm Isaac on Tuesday, but signs pointed to a renewed focus on the GOP once the party's convention truly gets underway.

Isaac, which is expected to turn into a hurricane later on Tuesday, has already caused Republicans a series of headaches, forcing them to cancel the first day of the convention and worry about potentially having to share space with images of loss and disaster on peoples' television screens. On Monday, the media began trying to figure out how it would cover both stories at the same time.

For the most part, marquee names stayed in Tampa, though Anderson Cooper, Lester Holt, Soledad O'Brien and Shepard Smith were all sent to New Orleans, where Isaac is expected to wreak a fair amount of havoc.

Network executives were mostly sanguine about the whole thing. Michael Clemente, a top official at Fox News, told the New York Times that widescreen TVs mean he will have "more real estate" to operate with if he needs to.

Still, the lack of any convention activity on Monday meant that Isaac was given free rein with the news cycle. The front page of the local Tampa Bay Times and the New York Times both carried the same image of a man lying in an evacuation center in Louisiana.

All three network morning shows led off with nearly ten minutes on the storm -- an eternity in television time. ("Today" featured special Isaac-themed graphics for the second day in a row.) On CNN, O'Brien reported live from New Orleans, in a red CNN windbreaker.

For now, the GOP finds itself waiting for nature to take its course. Networks told the Times that the only thing that would draw their biggest names -- and primary attention -- away from Tampa was a drastic worsening of the expected hurricane.

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