During his exclusive interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, President Obama changed his position on gay marriage, arguing that same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples.
I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama tells Roberts. (Video is after the jump.)
ABC News will air a special report on affiliates at 2:58 PM ET with the news. Update: Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos anchored from New York, with Roberts down in Washington.
The announcement is something of a coup for ABC News, which is now being cited by just about every American media outlet. It will also likely translate to a boost in ratings for “ABC World News” and “Nightline” tonight, as well as “Good Morning America” tomorrow, when Roberts will be able to debrief viewers on what happened at The White House.
The fact that ABC was able to keep the announcement quiet is a testament to the news organization. In today’s media environment, it seems nearly everything leaks ahead of time.
Update: NBC News is airing a special report of its own, with Chuck Todd providing analysis of the decision, while Fox News anchor Shepard Smith opened his program by saying “The President of the United States, now in the 21st century.”
Leading up to the interview, the cable news channels were all trumpeting banners that hyped up what the president may or not say.
On Twitter, TV news pundits and journalists speculated seriously, and also cracked wise, about what the President would say:
NBC’s Chuck Todd:
For those wanting Burt Bacharach’s response to the president on gay marriage, you are in luck, he’ll be at the WH tonight.
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) May 9, 2012
ABC’s Jake Tapper, after word leaked that ABC had asked staffers not to tweet in advance of the special report:
tweet tweet tweet tweet
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 9, 2012