I found out about Nelson Mandela's passing when I turned on "Politics Nation with Al Sharpton" Thursday night. The whole program was appropriately dedicated to Mandela with clips of his life and accomplishments and then commentary from other MSNBC hosts and guests.
This was followed by "Hardball with Chris Matthews" in which a prerecorded interview with President Obama at American University was presented. Mandela's death was not known at the time of the taping so the topics were healthcare, NSA, immigration, the pope, and the economy. I found it engaging but during the commercials I switched to CNN which was running documentaries on the life of Mandela.
At 8 PM, I watched "The Sound of Music" but channel surfed to keep up on the coverage of the breaking news about Mandela's death. I was very disappointed each time I turned on Fox News. It seemed as though it was business as usual for them.
I admit I didn't see any of the Fox cable shows from their beginning but it seemed they were content to just run the announcement of Mandela's passing as a scroll at the bottom of the screen. At least on "Hannity" that was the case.
Later on in the rerunning of the shows I did catch Megyn Kelly in what she called her Demi Moore voice (she had a sore throat) on "The Kelly File" interviewing Juan Williams who gave a glowing remembrance of Nelson Mandela which I was glad to see. Then it was back to bashing Obamacare.
I also caught Bill O'Reilly on his "O'Reilly Factor" mentioning Mandela as a great man but calling him a communist while speaking with Rick Santorum. Not exactly a great tribute.
This was in sharp contrast to MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes", "The Rachel Maddow Show", and "The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell". Each host changed whatever plans their programs had and presented a full hour coverage of Nelson Mandela's life and death. They could have chosen to show clips of Chris Matthew's fascinating interview of President Obama, but they did not.
And as I mentioned, CNN presented documentaries all evening praising the accomplishments of Mandela.
Is it just me, or doesn't one of the most inspirational leaders of our times, a man who almost single handedly ended Apartheid in South Africa and became its first black President after 27 years in jail, deserve more recognition than a scroll at the bottom of a news program as Fox News presented?
I invite any Fox News followers to, as Bill O'Reilly says, "tell me where I'm going wrong". I realized I was channel surfing, so outside of the Juan Williams interview, did I miss the tributes?
Please tell me if you agree that this Mandela story was more important than the foibles of Obamacare or Obama bashing or any other stories that were covered by Fox cable hosts that night.
I realize Fox News has the most number of followers of all the other cable networks. I feel they do a disservice to their viewers and the world of media in general when they allow their ideological bent to keep them from extensively presenting a history making event such as Nelson Mandela's death. The American public deserves better. Tell me if I'm wrong.