(Photo from ABC News)
Most nets are showing the parade (or at least the first stages as marchers pass the new president), but CBS focuses for a moment on the Kennedy story. Carries footage with Chris Dodd, saying "the good news is (Kennedy) is going to be fine." Levity creeps into the coverage again: laughter on NBC and ABC.
At MSNBC, Keith Olbermann goes from the Kennedy story to the parade, admitting to "this bizarre and somewhat uncomfortable segue until we have some definitive statement about Sen. Kennedy." New, optimistic reports about Kennedy ensue on several networks. Other reports add that Byrd was not ill, but left when he became disturbed about Kennedy's situation.
It's 4 p.m. and TV has been waiting to see if the president is going to get out of his car. Hasn't happened so far.
4:03. The presidential limo stops. Out comes the president. Tumult. Mrs. Obama joins him. Diane Sawyer wonders how Mrs. Obama hasn't gotten cold yet.
This is one of the most frightening parts of the day for me. Security may be everywhere, but I can't shake at least some feeling of fear for what could happen when the president is out in the open like this.
The walk is brief. (Well, CNN later says it was 7 minutes, 20 seconds.) And the coverage has settled into a long, slow ride. FNC says everything's running about a half-hour behind schedule, because of the Kennedy/Byrd medical issues at the luncheon.
Al Roker tries to get the president's attention. Lamenting that he is blocked by a satellite truck. But yells to Obama, who tells Roker "it's warm." And Roker gets the first post-inaugural interview with the president!
I've lost track of how long ago Richard Brookhiser mentioned Andrew Jackson. But Brian Williams is bringing him (and his inaugural party) up at 4:50 p.m. -- and rather proud that NBC has waited this long to discuss it.
Within the last little while, I have heard the same story about Grant's inaugural on two different networks.
It's 5 p.m. Channel 19 has dropped out of CBS coverage as planned, even though things have run late. Channel 5 is staying with ABC even though it had previously planned to go to local news at 5 p.m. Channel 8 is in local news as scheduled. Channel 3 has gone to a "special 5 o'clock edition" of its news, an hour later than it at one point scheduled coverage.
And I am signing off the blog for now. Happy day, one and all.
Oops, one more note. At 5:04 Channel 5 abruptly cut from ABC coverage for a weather report and local news.