CBS broke into programming at about 10:18 Eastern time to report that Saddam Hussein had been executed. The short Special Report was drily anchored by Katie Couric, but included a brief interview with the typical Democratic expert: Richard Holbrooke, an Assistant Secretary of State and U.N. Ambassador under Bill Clinton. Couric left out the worked-for-Clinton part. Unsurprisingly, Holbrooke said the execution of Saddam would have absolutely no effect on the dire situation in Iraq for President Bush:
“In the long term, it doesn’t change anything…He was a dead man walking. And so in the end for President Bush, Katie, the crisis, this emergency he’s facing, the policies he has to announce shortly, are not going to be changed by what happened today.”
ABC came on a few minutes later -- a delay which might seem odd since ABC was already in the middle of a news show, "20/20." After reporting the basics, anchor Elizabeth Vargas promised more detail on the life and death of Saddam, but at least in the Washington area, ABC appeared to be jerking back to covering how Internet gossips were hassled by psuedo-celebrities like Tara Reid and Nicole Richie before the network patched back in with the Saddam reporting. They aired an old Brian Ross report on the brutality of Saddam's son Uday, which seemed out of place considering the occasion. Couldn't they have something more directly about Saddam in the can?
NBC may have broken in, but I watched snippets of "Law & Order" for some time waiting for a report. Fred Thompson was cracking down on a feminist judge, but I didn't see any news breaking out.
UPDATE: Drudge says NBC was first among the broadcast networks, breaking in at 10:14.