Bush speech and the networks…

James Taranto is in a snit because ABC, CBS, and NBC didn’t carry the Bush address. He says:

As the New York Post’s John Podhoretz notes, all these networks opted not to carry the president’s speech last night in which he did make the case (The Fox broadcast network carried it, as did the all-news cable networks.) The New York Times says this is because “the White House did not formally ask the networks to broadcast the speech, as is the usual practice.” But since when do news organizations wait for a formal invitation before covering the news?

First, let me say that I think the networks should have carried the address. But, the fact remains that the White House did not ask for the time–an indicator to the networks of the importance the administration places on the speech. We may certainly debate what that maneuver means. The question I have for Taranto is: Since when are ABC, NBC, and CBS “news organizations”? These are entertainment networks that are part of larger companies. The news portions of these networks account for a tiny fraction of the profits. Now MSNBC and CNN are indeed news organizations (of a sort).