American news networks finally swung into action on Wednesday, devoting wall-to-wall coverage of the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi.
After days of virtually ignoring the mounting political crisis in the country in favor of gavel-to-gavel coverage of the George Zimmerman trial, the three main cable news networks moved away from the Florida courtroom and towards Cairo.
CNN, whose international network had been praised for its coverage of the upheaval, had drawn fire for focusing on Zimmerman at the expense of Egypt. As Wednesday went on, though, the network spent more and more time on Egypt, cutting away from the Zimmerman trial. Eventually, the trial was dispensed with altogether. The network ran dramatic split-screen footage of pro-and-anti-Morsi rallies.
MSNBC and Fox News also veered from their single-minded focus on Zimmerman. MSNBC had some of its top correspondents, such as Richard Engel, in Cairo to witness the moment. Fox News used the feed of its international sister station, Sky News, for some of its coverage.
The news was big enough that, when the Egyptian military announced that it had deposed Morsi, NBC cut into its broadcast stations with a special report. ABC News touted its web coverage of the overthrow, as well as its plans for expanded coverage during its regular news programs.
Headlines around the world tended toward the dramatic. Al Jazeera English blared the line "MORSI OVERTHROWN." The BBC went with "COUP IN EGYPT." CNN chose a similar tack: "COUP IN EGYPT: MILITARY OUSTS MORSY."