The explosion and ongoing oil spill at BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico has President Barack Obama heading for prime time television to address the nation, and for the first time, he will be doing so from the Oval Office.
It’s been almost two months since the explosion. White House officials say that there are a number of reasons to address the nation at this point – they have more knowledge of what happened and what may happen, there is at least some progress to report, and Obama is also poised to increase the pressure on BP to make amends for the disaster.
The White House notes that this is not a moment-in-time type of event, but rather one that we’ll be living with and paying attention to long after the leaking of the oil into the sea is stanched, warranting a more thoughtful approach than some other types of disasters.
RBR-TVBR observation: From Inauguration Day until about this time in 2009, it seemed like Obama was finding a reason to go on television just about once a month, particularly leading into the heated health care debate taking place on Capitol Hill over the summer. But since then, fears that each network might as well pencil in “The Barack Obama Show” as a floating semi-regular feature have proven to be unfounded.
Networks were getting very tired of taking revenue hits, losing advertising dollars that could not be recouped, every time Obama made another foray into prime programming territory. In fact, Fox Television Network often decided to stick with its regularly scheduled programming, leaving coverage of White House events to sister Fox News Channel.
Lately, however, if anything, we’re seeing the press looking for more, not less, access to Obama. For whatever reason, the pressure has been off the networks for the most part in 2010.