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Weekly schedule, past shows

Erik Wemple
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Posted at 12:39 PM ET, 01/06/2012

Boston TV station nails Santorum

Praise the provincialism of local TV news! Enjoy the fine sampling in the clip above, which comes, too, from the most provincial of U.S. cities.

It’s CBS Boston (WBZ-TV) at its best. The segment looks at Rick Santorum’s rough ride in post-Iowa New Hampshire. Lest any viewers miss the point, the segment drives it home at every pass: Santorum, this ain’t Iowa!

Anchor Lisa Hughes sets up the story:

It wasn’t all cheering for Rick Santorum on his first full day back in New Hampshire. The candidate got into a testy exchange with students over gay marriage and then came his conversation with our political analyst Jon Keller. And Jon, you couldn’t have expected this; it ended when Santorum walked away.

And Keller takes the handoff:

Doesn’t normally happen that way, Lisa, but as you’re about to see, Santorum took exception to a question we asked him about his views on the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, which broke wide open ten years ago this week. It was the capper to a day that reminded Santorum, if he needed reminding, that he wasn’t in Iowa anymore.

As the story progresses, Keller points out that “archconservative Iowa just loved Rick Santorum.” That observation pivoted to a discussion of how Santorum was encountering static from New Hampshirites. The highlight of the segment comes when Keller himself confronts Santorum about something he’d said a decade ago. And Keller deploys some classic local TV news lingo (in bold below) to narrate the moment:

Before a friendlier crowd . . . Santorum felt comfortable mocking the notion that he’s too far right for the locals . . . But we wondered: What would New Hampshire think of Santorum’s decade-old claim that Boston-style liberalism ”lies at the center of Catholic priest sex-abuse scandal”?

The camera takes us to a corridor in which Jon Keller is confronting Santorum on this matter. Santorum reacts in a way that he likely wouldn’t want to see on a television broadcast.

Santorum: “I’ve already answered this question a hundred times. . . . What kind of games are you playing?” He continues muttering as he walks away from Keller, repeating the complaint that the question has been asked and answered.

Which is the lamest possible excuse for a presidential candidate, of all people, to offer a reporter. The job description of a presidential candidate, after all, reads: “Must answer the same question thousands of times.” That’s what these people do. Santorum has doubtless answered hundreds of questions about tax policy, about immigration, about the threat from Iran. Would he have walked away if Keller had asked him what he’d do to strengthen the family?

By  |  12:39 PM ET, 01/06/2012

 
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