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The NewsHour’s family of furry friends

Amidst these difficult times, we wanted to acknowledge the outpouring of interest in the furry creatures who keep some of us company, on- and off-camera, and those pets who are becoming part of the NewsHour family on social media, too. Judy Woodruff has the story.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Finally tonight, amid these difficult times, we wanted to acknowledge the outpouring of interest in the furry creatures who keep some of us company on and off camera, and to those pets who are becoming part of the "NewsHour" family on social media too.

    It started with a crawl, viewers writing in about feeling reassured and intrigued by seeing our correspondents' beloved cats in the background as they report from home on the "NewsHour" every night.

    To some, the background became front and center in their mind, overriding the news at times.

    One viewer, Paul, wrote: "My wife and I get ready for the 'NewsHour' Wondering, will William Brangham be on? Will the cat be on the sofa? Will it be awake? Will the PBS logo obscure it?"

    And to Lisa Desjardins, viewer Craig wrote: "My cat was watching your cat dig into the crack in your sofa, and he pointed out to me that he felt your cat was getting treats, and it's just not fair to other cats."

    So we wanted to reveal now what there's been a clamoring for.

  • William Brangham:

    This is Pepper.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    William's cats are all rescues, 10 year-old Pepper, the TV star, and also Tiki and Sugar, who don't gravitate to the limelight.

  • William Brangham:

    Who is a good girl?

  • Judy Woodruff:

    There's also Macy the dog, but she isn't allowed into the interview room because she's a barker.

    And Lisa's.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    This is Rocky.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Like William's, he's a rescue cat. He is a southpaw, jabs with his left, like his namesake, Rocky Balboa.

    The crawl of mail led to an onslaught, dozens of notes, and then followers on social media naming their rescue shelter pets for some of our on-air team.

    Erin Carlstrom on Twitter: "In the midst of all this chaos, please meet Connor Woodruff. Thank you bringing sanity to our home every 'NewsHour.'" And Scott tweeted: "I wanted to name him after my NewsHour favs too, but I went a little crazy. His full name is Snoopy Desjardins Alcindor-Woodruff."

    Some viewers grew concerned when the cats were hiding. One wrote in all caps: "WHERE WAS THE BRANGHAM CAT TONIGHT?"

    And then the fans went wild. Some accounts popped up on Twitter purporting to represent the cats themselves.

    We'd be remiss if we didn't give a shout-out to the dogs and cats of the "NewsHour," seen here on our Zoom editorial meeting call, and supporting our staff behind the scenes.

    As American poet Linda Pastan wrote: "Into the gravity of my life, the serious ceremonies of polish and paper and pen has come the manic animal, whose innocent disruptions make nonsense of my old simplicities, as if I needed him to prove again that, after careful planning, anything can happen."

    We hope that a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes life of the broadcast makes you feel more a part of the "NewsHour" family. Thank you for watching.

    You have got to love — you have got to love all these pictures and these animals.

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