President Spreads Cohesive Message Across Similar Sunday Interviews

By Andrew Gauthier 


On Sunday morning, President Obama appeared on five networks in near-identical interviews. Situated in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, the President fielded questions from anchors representing NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and Univision. After Fox chose not to broadcast Obama’s recent speech to a joint-session of Congress, the White House chose not to invite the network over for an interview.

The set-up was the same for every interview (all were shot on Friday) and Obama gave similar answers to questions on the pressing topics of the day–health care, national security–and brushed off concerns about racism that were highlighted by recent comments made by former President Jimmy Carter. In addition to this, he took issue with some members of the news media, telling ABC’s Bob Schieffer that “the 24-hour news cycle and cable television and blogs and all this, they focus on the most extreme elements on both sides.”

Here’s a round-up of critical reactions to the Sunday Obamathon…

Howard Kurtz, The Washington Post:
“Obama’s Sunday blitz was a mere throat-clearing that, as it turned out, produced little in the way of big news. And some journalists — even as they continue to clamor for access — say he is diluting the product.” More…

Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times:
“He was poised, thoughtful and, most of all, consistent, assuring each interviewer, in almost identical phrasing, that he had no immediate plans to send more troops to Afghanistan and that an economic recovery is at hand.” More…

Lynn Sweet, Politics Daily:
“Obama got his most relentless questioning from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos over the proposal to require everyone to buy health insurance.” More…