Free television exposure
Politicians know that if you give small-market TV stations (the only kind found in West Virginia) any material (as Representative McKinley has frequently demonstrated, the news requirement of timeliness is frequently waved), the station will run it. This time it’s Senator Shelley Moore Capito talking about immigration on a Thursday WTRF newscast.
That evening, the station ran a story that featured a clip from a Capito senate speech given earlier that day. In the clip, Capito tells us:
Immigration is a very difficult issue in this country. It is divisive and very politized right now and it shouldn’t be because what we’re looking at it is a humanitarian crisis.
There is no "news" here; it’s Capito expressing something that is widely known. It doesn't matter, however, the segment takes up over a minute of news time.
Additional free coverage on the WTRF website
The accompanying story on the station’s website begins:
West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito made headlines Thursday after addressing the Senate floor about the border.
She made headlines? Where? I googled the first ten pages of Capito “news” and found no headlines or mention of her speech beyond the WTRF article cited above. Obviously, the clip and the story came from Capito’s staff. Bringing it full-circle, the media section on Capito's congressional webpage then links back to the WTRF website to demonstrate that the senator is "In the News." Nice.
Small market media is desperate for cheap and easy filler that they can call news. Look for a significant increase in Shelley’s appearances on local TV as we get closer to the 2020 election.
And with free coverage like this, don't bet against her reelection.