A broadcast “Redeem Team” for presidential campaign coverage

It would be like the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. A “Redeem Team” of broadcast journalists who would work for one network, cover the Democratic and Republican national conventions and restore America’s confidence in the news media.

This would be gold medal political reporting. Experience, differing perspectives, wit, poise, graciousness and hard-nosed fact gathering.

If I could make it happen, here’s who would be on my roster:

Tom Brokaw

Sure, Brokaw’s retired. Semi-retired? OK, he’s not really retired at the moment. He’s covering the presidential campaign for NBC. Brokaw became moderator on “Meet the Press” in June 2008 after the death of Tim Russert. Brokaw will hold the position through the 2008 presidential election, providing expertise during election coverage for NBC News as a special correspondent.

Anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw 1983 through 2004. Brokaw’s distinctively smooth style and charm have made him a widely recognized television journalist.

Little known fact about Brokaw: Tom Brokaw dropped out of The University of Iowa, where he says he majored in “beer and co-eds” before receiving his B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion in 1962

Brokaw’s career in broadcast news began in earnest in 1962 when he worked in Omaha, Nebraska. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1965 to report on the civil rights movement, then joined NBC in Los Angeles as a reporter and anchor in 1966. From the West Coast, Brokaw moved to Washington, eventually becoming NBC’s White House correspondent during the Watergate era. In 1976 and 1980 he was a member of NBC News’ team of floor reporters for the Democratic and Republican conventions.

In 1984 and 1988 he served as anchor of all NBC News’ coverage of the primaries, national conventions, and election night, a role he repeated in 1992.

In December 1987, Brokaw moderated a live, televised debate from Washington among all declared candidates for the Presidential nomination from both parties, and moderated the first debate among the declared Democratic candidates for President in December 1991.

Judy Woodruff

Judy Woodruff is a senior correspondent on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, editor of 2008 political coverage and substitute anchor. A hard-nosed reporter, Woodruff brings intelligence, wit, context and grace to her political reporting assignments. She built her award winning career as a journalist from the ground up, started as the secretary for the news department at Atlanta ABC affiliate WQKI-TV.

Little known fact about Woodruff: Woodruff had her first taste of the limelight when at age 17 she won a hometown beauty pageant and was crowned Miss Augusta Junior Miss 1963.

In 1970, Woodruff got her first reporter job at Atlanta CBS affiliate WAGA-TV, and was assigned to the state capitol beat. Then she jumped ship to NBC and was transferred to Washington, D.C., where she covered the White House from 1977-82. Then there was a short stint at the Today show, before Woodruff was hired by the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour as their first Washington correspondent. At the same time she hosted the PBS investigative news series Frontline. In 1993 she returned to commercial television when CNN hired her as a news anchor. She also hosts their political analysis show Inside Politics.

Woodruff moderated the 1984 Vice-Presidential debate between Geraldine Ferraro and George H.W. Bush,

Bob Schieffer

Schieffer, chief Washington correspondent for CBS News, is one of the few journalists to have covered all four of the major Washington national assignments: the White House, The Pentagon, United States Department of State, and United States Congress. His career with CBS has almost exclusively dealt with national politics.

A journalist who is as gracious as he is hard hitting, Schieffer’s broad audience acceptance was underscored when he was named temporary anchor of the weekday CBS Evening News after Dan Rather’s controversial 2005 departure. During Schieffer’s tenure in the weekday anchor chair, ratings for the newscast improved, only to decline again when Katie Couric took the chair in 2006.

Little known fact about Schieffer: Schieffer is a survivor of grade III bladder cancer; he was diagnosed in 2003 and is currently cancer-free.

With CBS News since 1969, Schieffer served 23 years as anchor on the Saturday edition of CBS Evening News from 1973 to 1996; chief Washington correspondent since 1982, moderator of the Sunday public affairs show Face the Nation since 1991, and, between March 2005 and August 31, 2006, interim weekday anchor of the CBS Evening News.

Candy Crowley

Crowley is CNN’s award-winning senior political correspondent. Known as a tireless reporter, Crowley has been glued to the presidential campaign trail this year, often filing multiple campaign reports each day for CNN. Crowley was a congressional correspondent for the network. She came to CNN from NBC News in 1987.

She plays a pivotal role in CNN’s America Votes 2008 coverage, currently reporting across the country on the Democratic presidential candidates seeking the nation’s top political office. She was also part of the network’s Emmy award-winning 2006 mid-term election coverage.

Little known fact about Crowley: She received her undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia majoring in mathematics.

She has covered the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Howard Dean, Bob Dole, Jesse Jackson, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry, Ronald Reagan, and Paul Tsongas, among others. Since the presidential nomination of Jimmy Carter, she has covered all but one of the national political conventions.

Chris Wallace

Wallace is host of “FOX News Sunday,” and contributes to FOX News Channel’s political and election news coverage. Wallace is the only person to date to have served as host/moderator of more than one of the major Sunday political talk shows. His political reporting chops go back five decades.

Wallace was NBC News’ chief White House correspondent from 1982-1989. While at NBC, Wallace covered the 1980, 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns as well as the Democratic and Republican conventions in those years. Wallace also anchored “Meet The Press” from 1987-1988 and anchored the Sunday edition of “NBC Nightly News” from 1982-1984 and 1986-1987. Wallace joined NBC as a reporter with WNBC-TV in New York City in 1975.

Little known fact about Chris Wallace: The son of Mike Wallace, longtime CBS 60 Minutes correspondent, his parents divorced when he one year old. Chris Wallace grew up with stepfather Bill Leonard, who was a CBS News President. Leonard gave Wallace early exposure to political journalism, hiring him as an assistant to Walter Cronkite at the 1964 Republican National Convention.

Wallace also worked at ABC News for 15 years where he served as the senior correspondent for “Primetime Thursday” and as a substitute host for “Nightline.”
Jeff Greenfield

Greenfield is CBS News senior political correspondent.

He has served as a floor reporter or anchor booth analyst for every national convention since 1988. He has twice been named to TV Guide’s All-Star team as best political commentator and was cited by the Washington Journalism Review as “the best in the business” for his media analysis.

Greenfield has also been a senior analyst for CNN since 1998. During that time, he served as its lead analyst for its coverage of the primaries, conventions, presidential debates and election nights, as well as presidential funerals and Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Little known fact about Greenfield: He was once a speech writer for Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

Before joining CNN, Greenfield was a political and media analyst for ABC News (1983-97), appearing primarily on “Nightline” and delivering weekly commentaries for “World News” Sunday.

Author or co-author of 11 books, Greenfield’s most recent book, “Oh, Waiter, One Order of Crow,” is an insider’s account of the contested 2000 presidential election.

Cokie Roberts

Roberts is a senior news analyst for NPR, where she was the congressional correspondent for more than ten years. Roberts also a political commentator for ABC News, serving as an on-air analyst for the network. Roberts was the co-anchor of the ABC News’ Sunday morning broadcast, This Week with Sam Donaldson & Cokie Roberts from 1996 to 2002, and also served as chief congressional analyst for ABC News. She covered politics, Congress and public policy, reporting for World News Tonight and other ABC News broadcasts.

Little known fact about Roberts: She is an appointee to President George W. Bush’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.

Before joining ABC News in 1988, Roberts was a contributor to PBS in the evening television news program The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Prior to joining NPR, Roberts was a reporter for CBS News in Athens, Greece. She also produced and hosted a public affairs program on WRC-TV in Washington, DC.


About Bernard McCoy

My views are my own and not a reflection of my employer. I'm a professor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I've also been a working journalist for the past 29 years. I have covered news stories in war zones, reported on human and natural disasters, presidential conventions, a presidential inauguration and the September 11th, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. My career experiences include work as an award-winning documentary producer, television news reporter, photographer, producer, and anchor. I worked at WIBW-TV, Topeka, KS., KCTV, Kansas City, MO, WKBD-TV, Detroit, MI., WILX-TV, Lansing, MI. and WBNS-TV, Columbus, OH. I have also worked as a contributing reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press, CBS, CNN, the Ohio News Network and lecture at the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communications. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in telecommunications management from Michigan State University.
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2 Responses to A broadcast “Redeem Team” for presidential campaign coverage

  1. StreetM says:

    Thanks a lot for the pingback. I surely will join the Ubuntu Weblogs planet.

  2. Frumil says:

    There is no magic skill.

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