June 09, 2004
Inept Reporting

I've been watching the coverage of the Reagan funeral procession while I grade final exams. A few brief notes:

  1. CBS doesn't have a clue as to what they should be explaining. Who were those 12-15 people greeting the plane at Andrews AFB? I think that must have been Ron, Jr. and Patti Davis (with the very long hair) up front on the right, but I'm not sure which of the middle-aged men was Michael Reagan, and who all the other people were. (I don't watch a lot of TV, so I don't know what they look like.) One of the younger women looked rather like Jenna Bush, but I imagine if Jenna had been there, Barbara would have been, too, so it was probably a Reagan grandchild. Would it have killed them to explain? I don't even know how many grandchildren there are, though I'm pretty sure there are several.
  2. Was that Patti Davis sitting next to her mother in the limousine? Hard to tell on my small-screen TV, and CBS surely knows. Why not say?
  3. Similarly, we were told the names of four of the pallbearers, Michael Deaver, the President's long-time physician, and a couple more I've already forgotten. Who were the others? And why can't they show us pictures? When they did show a row of pallbearers, some looked vaguely familiar, but identifications would have been helpful. Who was the tall bald guy at the end of the row? You won't know if you watch CBS. (I don't have cable, and CBS is the only channel I can get with a clear picture and uninterrupted commercial-free coverage.)
  4. No explanation as to why the pallbearers aren't actually bearing the casket (is 'pall' another name for a casket?). A brief mention of the difference between the apparently honorary pallbearers and the military men who actually carried the casket wouldn't have hurt.
  5. Dan Rather just quoted Reagan comparing Congress to a swarm of cicadas "17 or 18 years ago". If you know anything at all about cicadas, you know it must have been 17, not 18.
  6. Judging from what CBS has shown, the funeral is entirely military in tone. I like seeing the various service members, but would also have liked to see some Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, college or high school marching bands, and so on in the procession. Am I wrong to think that?

More soon, on various subjects. In general, I suppose CBS is doing a fairly decent job of showing the funeral procession.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at June 09, 2004 07:16 PM

A pall is the cloth draped over the casket.

Posted by: Patrick on June 17, 2004 04:18 PM