With just a few days left, the White House has not said whether President Joe Biden will do a sit down interview with Fox as part of its Super Bowl pre-game coverage.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters today, “I don’t have anything to preview on Sunday.” No word from Fox News, which would conduct the interview for the broadcast network, either.
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Obviously, time is running out, as Bret Baier noted during State of the Union coverage. “We are running out of days.”
Meanwhile, a pro-Joe Biden ad, timed for release after his State of the Union address, was spotted during Fox News’ The Five, which draws more viewers than any other cable news show. The spot was from Future Forward USA Action, one of the largest independent spending groups to back Biden in the 2020 presidential race, with donors to an affliated PAC including hedge fund managing director Stephen Mandel and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.
George W. Bush sat for an interview with Jim Nantz for CBS’s Super Bowl coverage in 2004. Five years later, Barack Obama did an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer. That was the start of a tradition that has continued almost uninterrupted since then.
Donald Trump, though, skipped the 2018 pre-game interview when NBC was host. The reasons were not entirely clear. He had bashed the network as “fake news” — but he labeled many other outlets the same. But Trump returned the following year for a sit down with Margaret Brennan of Face the Nation.
Fox News is not exactly friendly territory for Biden, what with its continual stream of opinion programming missing few opportunities to attack him and his administration. Fox Nation, the network’s subscription streaming service, even featured a mock trial of the president’s son, Hunter Biden. During Tucker Carlson’s show on Tuesday, coming just before Biden’s State of the Union address, the chyron gave an update reading, “Mannequin President Has Left The White House.”
But Fox News has been prepared to send one of its news side personalities, like Bret Baier or Shannon Bream, to interview the president. That would be a change from the Obama years, when Bill O’Reilly, then its star primetime host, was dispatched to do interviews in 2011 and 2014. The last time that Fox had Super Bowl rights, 2020, the interview with Trump was done by Sean Hannity.
Since the State of the Union address, Biden has been traveling and touting his economic agenda, bolstered by a recent blockbuster jobs report and declining inflation. A Fox News interview could produce a gaffe or misstep that would overshadow that messaging, while the network has focused extensively on issues about immigration and the border. But the upside is a huge audience, even in the pre-game, which has topped 20 million viewers.
Biden sat down last year with Lester Holt for NBC’s Super Bowl coverage and, the year before that, Norah O’Donnell on CBS.
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