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Media Braces for a Wild Weekend of News

Deadly storms, birther drama, shuttle launch, White House Correspondents Dinner and Pope beatification leaves outlets already stretched thin with the Royal Wedding scrambling to cover it all

Most news outlets, as expected, are going nuts in the lead-up to the Royal Wedding.

But an unexpectedly wild 24 hours of news — with Barack Obama’s decision to release his birth certificate and Donald Trump’s delusional press conference causing a made-for-cable-news fury, and deadly storms ripping through the South — has left many outlets, already stretched thin with throngs of reporters in London, scrambling to cover it all.

And the next 48 or so hours don’t leave much flexibility. With most network and cable news channels beginning their royal coverage Friday at 4 a.m. (ET) and primetime specials already planned for Friday night, there’s not a whole lot of time left to cover other stuff, including:

>> The fallout from the tornado-spawning Southern storms.

>> Fallout from Trump’s birther-spewing nonsense.

>> The launch of space shuttle Endeavour, where Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will watch her husband (shuttle commander Mark Kelly) in what will be her first public appearance since the Tucson shootings.

>> Saturday’s annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, where most media outlets have celebrity-filled tables — and where Obama and Trump, who was invited by the Washington Post, could conceivably meet face-to-face.

>> The beatification of the late Pope John Paul II from St. Peter's Basilica in the wee hours Sunday morning.

The three major cable networks are planning to cover it all live.

CNN, which lives for weekends like this, is starting with the Royal pageantry at 3 a.m. Friday, the shuttle launch between 3 and 4 p.m. (ET), and ending with the Pope, with coverage slated for 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday.

MSNBC's Royal coverage starts at 3 a.m., too, and its live beatification coverage will run from 4 to 7 a.m. (ET) Sunday.

Fox News — which is starting its wedding coverage with Shepard Smith at 4 a.m. — is shifting away from the Royal Wedding at 9 a.m. to focus on its storm coverage (Fox says has six reporters stationed in regions affected by Wednesday's devastating tornados.) FNC will cover the shuttle launch, anchored by Smith live in London, as well as the Pope's mass from 4 to 6 a.m. on Sunday.

ABC and NBC's coverage of the wedding begins at 4 a.m. (ET).

ABC plans to cover the shuttle live on Friday, and beatification within its normal Sunday morning news prgramming. NBC will cover the shuttle launch live as well, but will leave the Pope to MSNBC.

CBS' coverage — anchored by Katie Couric — starts at 4 a.m. (ET), and will cover the Pope's beatification on all of its Sunday news programming, but not live.

If you thought the last 24 hours were schizophrenic for the news business, wait 'til the next 48.