The situation in Libya was still commanding headlines and President Barack Obama was getting set to address the nation on Monday to discuss it, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Bill Gates were sent out to make the rounds of the network Sunday morning talk shows – except for one.
The administration officials were made available to ABC, CBS and NBC, but not to Fox, where Chris Wallace holds down the anchor chair. And Wallace was none too happy about it.
Here is a clip of Wallace’s on-air complaint.
Or if you wish, you can just read what he said: “Of course we wanted to get the White House view on Libya. However, they chose to offer Secretary of State Clinton and Defense Secretary Gates to ABC, CBS and NBC, but not to Fox. Despite the fact that we routinely have more viewers than two of those Sunday shows, the Obama team felt no need to explain to the millions of you who watch this program and Fox News why they have sent U.S. servicemen and women into combat. We thought you’d like to know.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The skirmishing between the White House and Fox has been going on since Obama took office, and of course the seeds were sown well before then. But this instance just makes no sense to us – why would you pass up an opportunity to tell your story to as many interested people as possible? Besides the attitude of the White House towards Fox Network – what the administration forgot are the local Fox Affiliates and their local voice and audience. That audience are also voters.
People do not casually tune in to the Sunday morning shows – you are either very interested in the governance of the United States, or you watch something else.
If it were us, we would not want a hot political topic discussed on any major network without our participation is we were given the opportunity, regardless of any perceived political bent of the network that reaches the audience. The decision to go around Fox was just senseless.