Tuesday, April 28, 2009

FOX to President Obama: Lie to Me

For the very first time since the FOX Television Network was founded, a major over-the-public-airways network has decided to skip a major prime time news conference requested by the President of the United States. FOX Television Network has announced they WILL NOT cover the live press conference, instead opting to air their regularly scheduled programming.

NEW YORK -- The Fox network is sticking with its regular schedule over President Barack Obama this week.

The network is turning down the president's request to show his prime-time news conference on Wednesday. The news conference marks Obama's 100th day in office. Instead of the president, Fox viewers will see an episode of the Tim Roth drama "Lie to Me."

It's the first time a broadcast network has refused Obama's request. This will be the third prime-time news conference in Obama's presidency. ABC, CBS and NBC are airing it.

President Obama has been taking a lot a criticism from conservative bloggers and commentators for scheduling this ego driven (as opposed to crisis or event driven) press conference to mark his 100th day on office.

But the normally supportive Hollywood industry insider publications and blogs have also been critical about what they see as President Obama's abuse of this executive privilege.

While the FOX Television Network shares common ownership with the FOX (cable based) News Network, it is unlikely this is any sort of political statement. And, it must be noted, that FOX NEWS will carry the entire presser live and with all hands on deck.

It is the regular FOX broadcasting network that has opted for a critical May Sweep Ratings victory over what has been up til now, normal news coverage. FOX was already likely to win the May Sweeps with its powerhouse line-up of American Idol, House and 24. Presidential press conferences have always been a ratings drag with local and independent stations picking up huge audience share, especially since the national networks of ABC, CBS and NBC essentially duplicated themselves.

Still, FOX is getting a lot of flak, especially from Obama supporters and left leaning media. I wouldn't be surprised if they blink and carry President Obama's show.

In reality, such national over-the-airways coverage may well be a thing of the past. With most homes having access to the 200 plus cable channels, there are many outlets on which to view such events. We may well see all networks reduce or eliminate such coverage, just as they have already reduced or eliminated coverage of the political conventions.

Just wondering out loud..... You know I really like that new Tim Roth drama, Lie to Me. Wouldn't it be super cool if the cable news networks could hire someone like Dr. Cal Lightman to analyze the Presidential News Conference and let us know when someone was lying.....

Sadly, as Grayson Wray says, "It's Only Science Fiction." SHAMELESS AMAZON LINK TO EARN MONEY FOR THE WIZARD


Lee said...

You know that lie to me is based on the works of Dr. Paul Ekman?


nytescrybe said...

This is not true. On February 3, 1988, all 3 major networks (who are practically obsolete today, but then they were the monopoly) declined to carry Reagan's Oval Office speech pushing his contra aid package. Get your facts straight.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Thanks for stopping by nytrscrybe and thanks for the comment. I stand corrected, although not by your example. I was well aware of the big three's refusal to broadcast Reagan's address, but that predated the emergence of the FOX network (see my first sentence). Fox did not have a national presence or a news broadcast requirement for affiliates until the mid 1990's

However, Dick Morris advises me that several times the networks refused to grant Bill Clinton time he requested. In Clinton's case every network declined (not just one) and in every case Clinton cancelled his speech or press conference.

Morris point is that the networks have been unusually supportive of Obama.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

It seemed like just another campaign stop to me? And the guy from the NY Times who asked that "enchanting" question - he should be fired immediately.