Cordes sympathetically recounted, "It was a shaken Speaker Pelosi who read the resolution censuring her longtime ally, 80-year-old Charles Rangel, as he stood in the well of the House." Apparently asserting a universal emotion, Couric proclaimed, "It was painful for him and for everyone watching."
In closing a report on the subject, Cordes seemed to put the best possible spin on the fact that Rangel is only the 23 House member in the history of the United States to be censured: "If there is a silver lining for Mr. Rangel, it's that this two-and-a-half year ordeal is now over. There are no criminal charges against him and he easily won reelection last month."
The two other evening newscasts, NBC's Nightly News and ABC's World News both recounted the story without such drama and hyperbolic language.
This isn't the first time that network journalists have found sadness in the fall of Democratic Congressman. The June 6, 1994 issue of the Media Research Center's Notable Quotables highlighted the "American tragedy" of Dan Rostenkowski, convicted of mail fraud:
"You're a fierce partisan on the other side of the aisle from Dan Rostenkowski, but you're also an admirer of good legislators. How do you feel about this personally? Is this an American tragedy?"
-Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson to Newt Gingrich, May 26, 1994.
"It's a big loss for the President. It's a big loss for the Congress, and I think it's a big loss for the country."
- NBC reporter Lisa Myers, Today, May 25, 1994.
A transcript of the December 2 segment, which aired at 6:30pm EST, follows: