Networks Refused to Give President Primetime Air for ObamaCare Victory Lap
On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported that NBC, ABC, and CBS turned down a White House request for primetime coverage of a presidential address on Tuesday to spike the football on ObamaCare reaching the seven million enrollment mark. Instead, the President was forced to settle for an afternoon pep rally in the Rose Garden which only ABC and NBC covered live.
These were the same networks that fretted over Republicans not agreeing to let Obama give a primetime campaign speech to Congress at the same time as a Republican presidential primary debate in 2011.
On the September 1, 2011 edition of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos complained: "...this latest chapter of politicians behaving badly. What a mess in Washington. Takes the White House and Congress all day long to even agree to a time for President Obama's big job speech next week."
On the CBS Early Show that morning, White House correspondent Bill Plante proclaimed that the "testy confrontation" over the scheduling of the speech "may prove that there is no argument too petty in today's Washington."
Days later, after the date of the President's address to Congress had been moved to accommodate the GOP debate, Today's then-co-host Ann Curry scolded "disrespectful" Republicans who did not attend – all three of them.
While the network evening newscasts all reported on Obama's Rose Garden victory lap on Tuesday night, none of them mentioned that they had rejected the administration's primetime request.
Perhaps they were afraid they would come across as being "disrespectful" to the President.