On Wednesday afternoon, Hillary Clinton sat down with Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric, and Brian Williams — in that order — for one-on-one interviews to air on the respective networks Wednesday evening. That same afternoon, buzz was building over a major endorsement for Barack Obama to come that evening (later revealed to be John Edwards).
But on Wednesday night in the flagship live broadcast at 6:30 pm ET, only two of the three networks aired the Clinton interviews on-air — NBC and CBS. On ABC, the network instead aired the endorsement of Barack Obama by John Edwards, which was happening live at that time.
An ABC representative explained that ABC decided to carry the Edwards endorsement live rather than air the Clinton interview:
There are five feeds of "World News" that air across the country at different times. The first feed, which you would have seen if you were watching in New York, did not include an excerpt from Charlie's interview with Clinton, but the other four feeds did. So those watching in Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, and many other cities across the country did see it. [Wednesday] was a very busy news day as you know, coupled with the fact that a major breaking story -- Edwards' endorsement of Obama -- happened right as we were going to air. Unlike NBC and CBS, we decided to air part of that event live for our audience that sees the 6:30 program live. We then shifted our lineup accordingly for the subsequent feeds.
A surprising omission — or was it? Perhaps the person who would have been least surprised might have been Hillary Clinton, who may have had an inkling over the course of the day that her fortunes were shifting. In the clip below, from MSNBC Thursday, Brian Williams explains that he watched Hillary Clinton's tone shift from interview to interview, presumably because she learned new information between each one. Watch Williams' assertion below, and decide for yourself whether Clinton's tone shifted between interviews. The videos from each interview are embedded below — the ABC video comes from KABC in Los Angeles, and is but a snippet of a much longer interview Gibson conducted earlier in the day. The full interview, not embeddable and not shown on air, can be viewed here at abcnews.com, and is the best source for comparing whether Clinton's tone shifted between interviews.
Brian Williams discusses watching Hillary Clinton's tone shift between interviews with ABC, CBS, and NBC: