The TV networks this year are devoting far less time to the presidential inaugural ceremonies than they did a year ago. The difference is startling, the New York Daily News commented today (Monday). In an interview with USA Today, CBS newsman Bob Schieffer, who has covered 12 inaugurations, compared the second inauguration to a second marriage. The first wedding is always the fairy-tale setting -- there's high hopes and expectations, and the bride's dad spends a lot of money. The second time around, reality kind of sets in. ... Everybody realizes it's kind of harder than we thought it was.'' Four years ago most of the networks devoted nearly their entire daytime and primetime schedules to the celebrations, but this year all reverted to their regular programming in primetime and cut back significantly during the daytime. Still, their coverage appeared to come off without a hitch. The president's relatively short address was bookended by patriotic entertainment -- preceded by James Taylor's performance of America the Beautiful and followed by Kelly Clarkson's rendition of America (My Country 'Tis of Thee) and BeyoncÃ©'s interpretation of the national anthem.
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