On Tuesday morning, the network morning shows all began with full stories on the New York City transit strike (no doubt involving dozens of struggling network employees). As I remarked today to Mark Finkelstein on his strike blog post, the New York-based media has an annoying tendency to elevate itself into the center of the news universe on local issues. (Put the same event in San Francisco or Seattle, and the national media would barely whisper.) And now, an example: merely a few weeks ago, at Halloween time, Philadelphia also had a transit strike. As Rich Noyes pointed out to me, it drew an 800-word story in the November 1 New York Times headlined "400,000 Hit by Philadelphia Transit Strike." Major morning show hubbub? Of course not.
This morning, ABC and CBS both had full stories on the New York transit strike, and NBC went heavy, with a count of six strike segments. Katie Couric and David Gregory even began the show standing out on the street, Katie in a red coat and a huge marshmallowy white hat. But when the Philly strike began to crush the commute on Halloween Monday, the ABC and NBC morning shows offered only a tiny anchor brief. (CBS did not.) The three networks all noted the strike's end on November 7 with another anchor brief.