Cable News Nets Asleep While San Bruno Burns

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Across the board, cable news nets napped as a major breaking story unfolded on the west coast - a massive explosion that flattened a neighborhood in San Bruno, California, a suburb just south of San Francisco.

The oversight was so glaring that frustrated viewers  (including myself) took to Twitter to comment on the perplexing absence of news on cable “news” channels.

Around 6:30 p.m. last night, Twitter erupted with reports of a massive explosion and wall of flame in San Bruno.   Quickly, the major San Francisco affiliates were on scene.  All preempted regular broadcast net programming throughout the evening to cover the extraordinary disaster caused by a ruptured Pacific Gas & Electric line.

Yet, several hours after the disaster began, the cable “news” nets were still ignoring the story, airing the usual line-up instead.

Coverage on CNN - when they finally did get around to the story - was limited.

Some Twitter users headed to local affiliate websites to get their updates.

A smattering of comments culled from Twitter:

@rachelsklar

RT @fsk50a: Unbelievable. Huge fire in Calif. CNN is reporting on Sarah Palin. Way to go Cable TV. I’m watching the Internet.

@rachelsklar

Want San Bruno fire updates? Go online - MSNBC’s rerunning Maddow, CNN’s got AndyCoop + Jeff Toobs, and Fox has re-O’Reilly. #comeondudes

@marymcnamara

cable nets=asleep. Dropping ball on San Bruno. All local San Francisco stations have preempted network programming to cover.

@marymcnamara

cable nets sloooowwww to cover San Bruno disaster. still airing Maddow, O’Reilly etc. last I checked. go to San Fran. websites - csb5 etc

@brianstelter

For late-night fire coverage: KGO: http://bit.ly/b6Dji1 KPIX: http://bit.ly/akPhGR KRON: http://bit.ly/cPPO2I

@brianstelter

Cable news mostly ignoring the giant fire outside SF, though CNN is now simulcasting CNN International’s coverage.

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