Report: Networks DENY Admin's Request for Primetime ObamaCare Speech
A new report claims that the broadcast networks denied a request from the Obama administration to air primetime remarks from President Obama. The speech would have focused on the White House's figures of seven million sign-ups for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Instead, Obama spoke from the Rose Garden in an afternoon address earlier this week, declaring, "Many of the tall tales that have been told about this law have been debunked. There are still no death panels. Armageddon has not arrived. Instead this law is helping millions of Americans."
Here's more from the Buzzfeed report:
WASHINGTON — White House officials sought valuable primetime air for a rare, impromptu Tuesday night address to tout the accomplishment of signing up more than 7 million people under the Affordable Care Act.
But network officials refused to make the kind of accommodation they did previously for the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, for instance, and Obama was left instead cutting into the much smaller audiences of Ellen and other daytime shows.
Three sources familiar with the request confirmed the White House asked for the primetime slot in their effort both to emphasize a bright moment following the challenging roll out and, more important, to try to reintroduce the country to a law that remains unpopular. One top White House official referred BuzzFeed to another top official for comment on the conversation with networks, but the second official did not respond to a request for comment.
People familiar with the request declined to reveal which network blocked the primetime address, but broadcast networks have traditionally been much more reluctant than cable networks to provide the White House with evening air time.
Martha MacCallum got some reaction from Bret Baier, who noted that each network would have had to make its own decision about whether to devote a valuable primetime slot to President Obama. Baier called the decision "striking," adding that "it says something about the analysis of the importance" of the message about seven million enrollees.
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