Just under a year after NBC turned over more than 75 hours of air time on several of their channels to Al Gore's “Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis,” Monday's NBC Nightly News championed Al Gore's “major endorsement” of Barack Obama -- as if a Democratic politician backing the Democratic nominee is newsworthy. (ABC's Jake Tapper gave the then-upcoming event a sentence while the CBS Evening News didn't mention any aspect of the presidential campaign. CNN and MSNBC covered the run-up during much of the 8 PM EDT hour and went live to Gore a little past 9:00 PM EDT. FNC showed video of Gore, but stayed with Hannity & Colmes guest Karl Rove.)
With Gore's words on screen, NBC's Lee Cowan trumpeted live from the venue in Detroit:
He says he'll do whatever he can to make sure that Barack Obama gets elected President. He announced his decision today on his blog, e-mailing a very deep list of supporters telling them to get behind this ticket both with a little elbow grease and with a little money as well. “I've never asked members of AlGore.com to contribute to a political campaign before,” he said, “but this moment and this election are too important to let pass without taking action.”
For network excitement over Gore getting a Nobel Prize, see my October 12 NewsBusters item: “ABC, CBS and NBC Hail 'Sweet Vindication' for Al Gore.”
Appearing with Today news reader and Dateline anchor Ann Curry during NBC's prime time coverage Saturday of Al Gore's "Live Earth" concerts, Gore gave a shout out to the network for its donation to his global warming cause, as Gore told Curry: "Thanks for what NBC has been doing." Curry didn't exactly deliver a hard-hitting interview. When Gore declared the concerts "the largest global entertainment event in all of history," she congratulated him before pressing him about running for President, suggesting that "without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming."
She pleaded: "A lot of people want me to ask you tonight if you're running for President. And I know what you're answer is gonna be, believe me. I gotta ask you though. After fueling this grass roots movement, if you become convinced that without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming to the level that is required, because the clock is ticking, would you answer the call? Would you answer the call, yes or no?"
The story on the Monday, June 16 NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Now to presidential politics and a major endorsement for Democrat Barack Obama tonight, in addition to a big defection from a former enemy camp. Our own Lee Cowan is with us tonight from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Lee, good evening.
LEE COWAN: Good evening, Brian. This isn't all entirely unexpected, but this will be Al Gore's return to electoral politics, announcing tonight that he says he'll do whatever he can to make sure that Barack Obama gets elected President. He announced his decision today on his blog, e-mailing a very deep list of supporters telling them to get behind this ticket both with a little elbow grease and with a little money as well. [text on screen] “I've never asked members of AlGore.com to contribute to a political campaign before,” he said, “but this moment and this election are too important to let pass without taking action.”
Just where this is happening is important as well, Brian. It's here in Michigan. You'll remember this is where John Edwards made his big endorsement of Barack Obama, now Al Gore. That just shows how important this state is in Barack Obama's race for the White House.
One other note as you mentioned, we should point out that Clinton's former campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, she'll will now be joining the Barack Obama campaign. We're told that she'll be chief of staff for whoever the Democratic vice presidential nominee turns out to be.