'CBS Evening News' Anchor Reflects On 2018's Biggest Domestic News StoriesPlay
2018 has been an eventful year for domestic news: A school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead; Democrats retook the House in the midterm elections; the Supreme Court gained a new member after a raucous confirmation process.
Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson looks back on the news stories that shaped the national conversation this year with "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor (@jeffglor).
- Here's our look back at 2018's top international stories with CNN's Christiane Amanpour
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting
"Every one of these shootings is awful and different in a different way," Glor says. "But from the beginning in Parkland, when we got down there, I was struck by how media-savvy these kids were. I don't mean that in a bad way. I just mean, they were aware of the power of the impact of their words immediately following this tragedy, and they used that. We sat down with four students who survived just a day after the shooting. They all came in their Eagles gear — this is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, which is the Eagles. They all had different opinions on what should happen politically following this, and they were all very raw, but they were all so well-spoken, and I think ... it's remarkable to see, and tough to see.
"I asked my son a couple of months ago, I said, 'Do you do lockdown drills?' And he said, 'Yeah, of course.' ... It was matter of fact for him, but sort of jarring for me to hear. And don't forget, following the Parkland shooting in Florida, new laws were passed in one of the most gun friendly states in the country. You have to be 21 to buy a rifle now, it's a three-day waiting period on gun sales ... makes more money available on mental health services in that state. So that was notable."
Hurricanes, Wildfires And Climate Change
"Here's what was fascinating about these storms: I was in the middle of both Florence and Michael. Florence we knew about days in advance, that it was coming, and it only hit as a Category 1. I say 'only' because it doesn't sound like it was that bad," Glor says. "But it just sat there for so long and dropped so much water, and it was so devastating for so many folks. But we got so much notice on that.
"Michael was the one that just picked up speed so quickly toward the end there, and almost became a Category 5 — third-largest hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. We are seeing these hurricanes, and other climatological events, that are becoming more extreme. Why is that happening? We're looking into that more as we approach this new year. But it's something that we certainly saw in 2018.
"I was in California three times this year for wildfires. That's the most ever. The Camp Fire ... specifically, the deadliest and most destructive in California history, there are still people missing. We heard person after person describe that as 'hell on earth,' how quickly that moved. They call it the 'extreme fire behavior,' and these fires that, when they're whipped by these winds, can just jump so dramatically and move so quickly that sometimes even if people receive warnings, they can't get out."
Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Confirmation
"There were a couple days this year where I think a lot of us felt we were witnessing history, and the Kavanaugh hearings were one of them," Glor says. "I felt that way during George H.W. Bush's funeral, felt that way during the Singapore summit I think, too. But the Kavanaugh hearing, it was so raw, and it was so riveting and in many ways so uncomfortable to watch for so many people, yet I think a lot of people just couldn't pull their eyes away from it. And then it's Christine Blasey Ford talking in the morning, and how powerful her testimony was. And then Brett Kavanaugh coming in. It was a defining day for this country."
Deaths Of Sen. John McCain And President George H.W. Bush
"There's not a lot of talk [in Washington, D.C.,] the way we see it from what we saw ... from John McCain and certainly George H.W. Bush. That's something that I think a lot of people are reflecting on right now, and the tone of the conversation, and have been for a couple of years now," Glor says. "That said, even though the rhetoric is heated, and we see these highly unusual Oval Office conversations, for example, between the president and Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, things do actually sometimes get done: The Senate passed a farm bill 83-17, criminal justice reform is moving forward. It looks like this partial shutdown is not happening. So I think there's also a couple of ways to look at that."
One Story To Watch For In 2019?
"I do think Robert Mueller's investigation is certainly going to be a continuing topic — especially with the postponing of Michael Flynn's sentencing into at least March, which indicates that that's nowhere near over," Glor says. "In 2018, five of the president's close associates pleaded guilty in deals with the special counsel, remember Jeff Sessions of course forced to resign in November, in large part because of how the president felt about how he handled all that and his recusal. So I think, if you're picking something that people end up wanting to talk about or want to know what you know about at a cocktail party or wherever else — or uncomfortably at the family dinner table — it might be that."
Chris Bentley produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Jack Mitchell adapted it for the web.
This segment aired on December 20, 2018.