President Obama’s televised primetime addresses are becoming a tougher sell to the broadcast networks than his sweeping health care reform has been to Middle America.
A day after news broke of the president’s plan to address a joint session of Congress on health care issues in primetime Wednesday, none of the Big Four networks have said it would carry the address live.
Among other things, the nets have been waiting to hear when the address will start, with sources indicating Thursday night that the White House was leaning toward 8 p.m.
After a brief honeymoon after Obama’s January inauguration, the broadcast networks have become increasingly frustrated by the frequency of his requests for primetime coverage. The pre-emptions wreak havoc on the networks’ schedules and cost millions of dollars in lost ad revenue.
Fox became the first network to break ranks in April by declining to carry the president’s news conference after reportedly losing as much as $6 million by moving “American Idol” in February to accommodate Obama’s second news conference.
Well, it’s nice to see that the dropping approval ratings haven’t affected his ego. It’s rather amusing that the White House expects the networks to just brush off millions in ad revenue to again carry his health plan informercial while also stifling any rebuttals or alternatives to his legislation. (Fairness Doctrine what?) You’re not at the stage to think that getting public approval is a shallow formality, dude.
Look out, networks, Obama took over the auto industry, determining CEO pay, and is making a grab for healthcare, don’t be surprised if he makes a grab for you, too.