CBS announced on Friday its plans for a "special town hall meeting on the economy" featuring President Obama. Network personalities Bob Schieffer and Erica Hill will host the event. This announcement comes just over a month after the Democrat officially started his reelection campaign, and on the same week that the President's approval ratings on the economy reached a new low according to a CBS News poll.
The network's release also noted that "CBS News is making preparations for a Town Hall next month with leading Republicans about the economy," but didn't reveal whether these were going to be some of the GOP presidential contenders or any of the various members of Congress or governors in the party.
CBS detailed that the town hall meeting will take place at the Newseum in Washington, DC on May 11, and will air the following morning during the 8 am Eastern hour of The Early Show. Besides noting that Schieffer and Hill would "join the president before a live audience," the release stated that "CBS News Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis will facilitate questions from a nationwide online audience via a special partnership with YouTube."
MediaBistro.com's FishbowlDC blog gave an additional detail about the event: "Additionally, John Dickerson will host CBSNews.com's web extras, including interviews at the White House and with the audience, which will air on cbsnews.com following 'The Early Show.'" Another blog of theirs, TVNewser, highlighted a connection between the Obama administration and CBS:
With the addition of David Rhodes to the CBS News leadership team earlier this year, CBS also added a familial connection to the Obama administration. Rhodes' brother, Ben Rhodes, is currently President Obama's Deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, and before that was a speechwriter for the President.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, David Rhodes was still an executive at Fox News Channel, joining Bloomberg TV that November.
When the Bush Administration was in-office, Bob Schieffer's brother Tom Schieffer served as an Ambassador to Australia and Japan.
On Wednesday, a CBS News/New York Times poll found that the President's overall approval rating jumped 11 points to 57%, just days after a Navy SEAL raid killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, but his approval rating specifically on the economy dropped 4 points to an all-time low of 34%.