Super Bowl snub is latest dust-up between White House, Fox News

The White House’s decision not to let President Biden sit down for an interview with a Fox News reporter during the network’s pregame coverage of this year’s Super Bowl signals a potentially freezing path for Biden and the nation’s leading cable news company.

The two sides have given conflicting versions of what was going on behind the scenes in the days before the interview, which was scheduled to air on Fox, was called off.

While some observers have argued that Biden, who is preparing for a second term, had little to gain politically by sitting down with Fox, others say the White House made a mistake by missing the opportunity to ask the president to do so to bring to share his message with millions of Americans ahead of the nationally televised event.

“One of the few remaining ways to get beyond your base is to get into the ‘opposition media,'” said Matthew Baum, professor of public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. “We’ve become more polarized since 2012 and it’s unclear if Biden would have been treated as gently as Obama [Fox host Bill] O’Reilly back then. It could end up being a case read for the Fox News grassroots rather than a chance for the president to use his own words to make his case.

The White House and Fox Corp., which owns Fox News, issued a series of dueling statements late last week that indicated negotiations for a sit-down were not going well. Fox leadership had been lobbying for weeks for Biden to sit with a moderator from his news department, likely Bret Baier or Shannon Bream, who the White House didn’t want to entertain.

Read  Black Belt Eagle Scout’s latest album celebrates home

The White House instead said it was interested in doing an interview with Fox Soul, a lesser-known and little-known streaming service aimed at black Americans, which Fox ultimately decided against.

Presidents have historically skipped pre-Super Bowl interviews with the network that aired the big game, but Biden sat in his freshman year with Lester Holt of NBC and CBS last year.

Biden also gave two interviews during the week of the Super Bowl with PBS NewsHour and Telemundo, two networks with a fraction of the viewership compared to the tens of millions who typically tune in to the Super Bowl pregame show.

Fox’s snub highlighted the fact that the president has still not sat on cable for an interview with the prime channel, although a number of White House officials and Cabinet members have appeared on the channel’s various programs.

The president has also answered shouted questions from Fox reporters like Peter Doocy during press conferences and other media availability. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre usually answers questions from Fox News reporters during daily briefings.

“The diner is more than just this President and Fox. Biden is hiding from almost all media,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a communications professor at Boston University who has worked as a political media consultant. “It’s a big mistake for Biden [to decline a sit-down before the Super Bowl.] We’re talking about millions of viewers. This isn’t the die-hard Fox News Channel. This is the broad strip of America.”

Many of Fox’s top anchors spend every night attacking Biden, his government and his family. The president’s frustration with Fox and general media criticism boiled over several times during his first term.

Read  Madonna latest news: Pop icon ‘in the clear’ after being rushed to ICU with bacterial infection

Biden lashed out at Doocy last winter when a hot microphone caught him calling the White House reporter a “dumb son of a bitch” after asking a question about inflation. Biden later called Doocy to apologize.

Biden’s defenders on the left said the decision to turn down a meeting with a Fox News journalist was the right one.

“I just have trouble believing that he should even sit down with a Shannon Bream or even a Bret Baier because, bottom line, they work for a conspiracy theory-mongering network,” said Sunny Hostin, a political commentator on The View ‘ by ABC, who is frequently critical of Fox.

“They’re not fans of Fox, but I feel like there’s this hunger for Joe Biden to deal a blow to the evil empire, but honestly his people are going on there with some regularity,” said Ben Smith, a prominent media critic and columnist. during an appearance Monday on CNN. “And I think if they see it as their tactical advantage, he’ll be there immediately. I’m not sure he sees reshaping truth in the media ecosystem as what he’s trying to do here.”

Other observers say the White House could have used the momentum from last week’s State of the Union address to further its talking points ahead of an expected run for a second term.

“If Joe Biden had brought the energy and vivacity of his State of the Union address to this Fox interview, he would have done his best and maybe even garnered a handful of new supporters,” Jeff Greenfield, a former network television analyst and author, wrote this week in an op-ed published in Politico Magazine. “The way our elections have gone lately could make all the difference.”

Read  Angelina Jolie camp blasts latest Brad Pitt court claim


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button