Tales from the Trail

No Foxtrot on Obama’s dance card for healthcare speech

September 8, 2009

Bad things come in threes… three strikes and you’re out… the third time’s a charm…

Which one of those applies to Fox refusing for the third time to change its primetime programming  to carry a speech by President Barack Obama?

It could be three strikes, but it’s unclear who’s out.

SPORT EAST ASIAN GAMESObama’s 8 p.m. speech to Congress on Wednesday will be carried live by the other networks — ABC, NBC and CBS.

Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch and the channel of choice for the former Bush administration, says it won’t be dancing to Obama’s tune. Turns out that’s the evening for the season premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Fox has directed viewers who want to watch Obama instead of “Dance” to its Fox News cable outlet.

THIS JUST IN: We asked Mark Knoller of CBS, the White House press corp’s trusted keeper of all statistics that matter, for stats on Obama TV interviews.

We of course were wondering whether there was any connection to be made between the number of Obama interviews and Fox not making room in primetime for his speech.

But the numbers don’t add up to any conclusion like that. Since Obama took office he has given four interviews to Fox and its affiliates, statistics guru Knoller says. That compares with 25 interviews spread among ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN out of a total 114 interviews given. So, looks about even on the TV interview front.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Adrees Latif (couple in dance competition that included foxtrot)

Comments
9 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I will not be watching Obama.

Posted by John R. Walkey, Esq. | Report as abusive
 

…there’s “fair and balanced” for you…as long as it does not interfere with our ideology, I mean our programming, I mean it’s not like we’re a news station, hmmm-strike that-I mean..Dick told Rupert he Couldn’t do it, or was it Rupert who told Dick he Wouldn’t do it? or maybe Greta, pulled the plug, Great?(…no Greta)..ok…now I’m really confused.

Democrat or Republican…this is newsworthy…and we’re ALL Americans, so why not get it from the “horse’s mouth” (so to speak) and put the pundits on “Surviver” or, better yet, have them “Dancing with the Stars” and lance the vitriol from the radio waves.

Posted by E. Govan-Campa | Report as abusive
 

If dancing is more important to the public than the Pres speaking on big changes, then watch the dance – BUT – keep the mouth closed when it comes to issues other than dance and current programing. Let those of us who are paying attenion make the decisions. If you want to complain about politics, get engaged. Get in the know. Understand what is going on first hand. Don’t think that after the dance show is over that you can tune into 5 minutes of some talking head spewing hate and negativism that you are informed.

Posted by Elly | Report as abusive
 

I’d rather watch paint dry than to watch “The One”
give another rambling stem-winder speech. His ego takes up all the oxygen.

ObamaCare is like a pig. Give it a bath, put perfume on it, it’s still a pig.

Posted by Durb | Report as abusive
 

Fox knows its viewers don’t have the mental capacity to grasp complex issues like healthcare reform. They also do not want their viewers to hear Obama speak without one of their talking heads interrupting him and talking over him. They might start thinking for themselves, you know. Better to keep them anesthetized with Dancing With The Stars starring Tom Delay.

Fox News. We distort, you buy it.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive
 

getplaning Fox news is catering to it,s audience that is good business practice ,and what is happening is that it,s audience is growing by the minute.Now that tells me that their content is agreeable to people who do not agree with what they see as a potential socialist takeover of the country, which is what is perceived by many to be happening .With out Fox news Van Jones would have got past the post,nothing from any other station, because of their opposite agenda.A healthy democracy is when all points of view are expressed,would you prescribe only news outlets like the new york times or GE tv station should only air their views,probably yes which is expected,so your suggestion that because people watch Fox news is an indication that they are not as smart as you is a typical liberal diatribe, perhaps less perceived brilliance and more common sense a direction my friend.

Posted by brianlee | Report as abusive
 

Actually it’s a pretty smart business move by FOX. Many, many mindless consumers don’t care about politics and only get annoyed with speeches. FOX is going to cater to that demographic and give them something to watch, try to get them hooked on the show and maybe even build some channel loyalty to people who like the show. Nice work by FOX’s programmers.

Posted by avglibertarian | Report as abusive
 

News stations once gave both sides of a debate and more than one viewpoint. But FOX has only one viewpoint and refuses to air anything that conflicts with it. Americans deserve better than the outright lies about the government planning the deaths of its senior citizens, or the current Republican position that no change is good for you. Even McCain got on the bandwagon for change, but now it seems that the extreme right, which is pushed by FOX, wants things to stay just the way they are, with lower taxes for the very rich and no reform of any type.

Posted by rfwatts | Report as abusive
 

The political satire site, National Inquisition speculates that President Obama may have strategically timed his speech to force Americans to choose between healthcare and dance. http://www.natinq.com

Posted by Allan | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/