Commercial Interrupts CNN-Bush Talk

“We’ll be back with the president of the United States. But first, a word from our sponsors … .”

It seemed a little strange Wednesday when CNN interrupted its live interview with President George W. Bush for commercials. But CNN said it was responding to a request from the White House.

Bush’s advisers wanted the chance for a break rather than take 15 uninterrupted minutes on the air, said Frank Sesno, CNN’s Washington bureau chief.

CNN had no problem with the request, as long as it was assured the commercials wouldn’t count toward the network’s alloted 15 minutes, Sesno said. The network has interrupted live interviews with world leaders for commercials in the past, he said.

As it turned out, Bush sat with correspondent John King for 20 minutes, including the ads. And, he answered questions from King even while off the air for commercials, Sesno said.

“It absolutely did not strike me as unusual or cumbersome in any way,” Sesno said.

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