Free at Last

Although most information programs long ago adapted to the 24-hour news cycle, network morning shows continue to reach viewers in the Mountain time zone on a two-hour tape delay -- a practice whose archaic nature was put on display again on the morning of April 4. During the 7 a.m. half hour, news broke that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pictured) had pledged to release fifteen British sailors held since March 23; see this Associated Press article for more details. This development was quickly reported on cable-news channels such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, as well as on live, local broadcasts from channels 2 and 31. However, Today, Good Morning America and The Early Show didn't break in with an update at the beginning of their 7:30 a.m. segment. Today, for instance, kept its audience in suspense about the diplomatic breakthrough in order to update everyone on the previous night's American Idol performances.

Talk about being behind the times. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts