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TCA: PBS ‘NewsHour’ Duo Says Democrats Choose Ridicule Over Hate

Complete Coverage: TCA Summer 2016

Los Angeles—Appearing via Skype at the TCA summer press tour from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PBSNewsHour co-anchors and managing editors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff pointed to distinct tonal differences between the Republican and Democratic confabs.

In attacking Hillary Clinton, Republicans brought a more visceral antipathy at their gathering, while the Democrats have leaned more toward mockery of Donald Trump, they said.

“You saw that in the chants of ‘Lock her up’ and in the signs the Republicans were holding, saying, ‘Put Hillary Clinton in prison.’ And it certainly came through in the comments from the podium and among the delegates,” Woodruff said. “Here [in Philadelphia], what the Democrats have chosen to do instead is to talk about how, in their words, ‘dangerous’ Donald Trump would be as president. But also to belittle, to make fun of him. … We’ll see which approach works.”

Related: TCA: PBS Chief Kerger Says Keeping Stations 'Relevant' Is Top Priority

The collaboration between PBS and National Public Radio on nightly simulcasts over the past few weeks has been a “learning experience,” Ifill said. “We really have to describe what’s happening” for listeners as well as viewers. As an example of the challenge, she cited the highly visual moment when Trump walked onstage in silhouette to the strains of Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”

The pair demurred when asked about their emotions about Clinton accepting the Democratic nod to become the first woman to be nominated for president. But Woodruff said that after a series of fireworks generated by First Lady Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton and President Obama, Clinton’s appearance Thursday night will be momentous. “It truly is the speech of Hillary Clinton’s life,” she said.

Related: TCA: PBS Showcases ‘Divided States of America’ With New Miniseries