All three major networks were awash in water bottle coverage, devoting time in both morning and evening shows to discuss Sen. Marco Rubio drinking out of a water bottle during his response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on February 12.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” and World News,” CBS’s “This Morning” and “Evening News,” and NBC’s “Today” and “Nightly News” all talked about the water bottle, and the attention that it was receiving. Six stories covered the non-issue in the day following Obama’s speech. All three evening news shows ran the instant replay.
The Quayle-esque attack undercut Sen. Rubio’s big speech and his economic message. Norah O’Donnell aptly summed up the situation when she asked Rubio during an interview on CBS “This Morning” about his thoughts on the coverage. “Senator, you had a lot of substance in your speech last night, but you know a lot of people are focusing on you reaching for the bottle of water.”
On CBS “Evening News,” anchor Scott Pelley chuckled as he said that Rubio had gotten “a little parched, and reached for a bottle of water that had been placed a little too far away.” Anchor Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “World News” commented that Rubio was “diving for the water there” as the instant replay flashed on the screen, noting that “on viewer tweeted ‘we all just watched the next Saturday Night Live opening skit.” She then added that “Rubio had a sense of humor, telling George Stephanopoulos today “God has a funny way of reminding us we’re human.”