> Update: An NBC News spokesperson tells us, “NBC News did not file a formal or informal complaint about this interview.”
> Earlier: TVNewser has learned that NBC News has
filed a formal complaint with expressed concern to the White House press office over the distribution of presidential interviews, specifically that several of the most recent broadcast TV interviews have gone to ABC News — including George Stephanopoulos’s interview yesterday and Charlie Gibson’s on December 15.
Complaints reportedly stem from Stephanopoulos’ friendship with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for helping land the interviews. But insiders tell us those decisions are generally left to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
ABC News spokesperson Jeffrey Schneider tells TVNewser, “We are always aggressive in our booking efforts and we were glad to have an interview with the President on such a big news day.”
The president hasn’t only spoken to ABC, far from it. Since the Gibson interview in mid-December, Obama has been interviewed by Tom Joyner and April Ryan of Urban Radio Networks, Scott Wilson of The Washington Post, Adam Nagourney of The New York Times, PBS’ Jim Lehrer, Roland Martin of CNN/TV One, Joe Klein of Time magazine as well as reporters from People and Essence.
Last year, NBC News got several days of access at the White House, including sit-down interviews with Pres. Obama for their “Inside the Obama White House” special — a series NBC has participated in for the last 40 years.
> More: It should be noted that complaints are often made to the White House press office when one network feels another is getting too much access.