Obama speaks on Iraq, Fox, CBS decline to cover

Obama speaks on Iraq, Fox, CBS decline to cover

President Obama addressing the nation on Iraq. (White House.gov)
President Obama addressing the nation on Iraq. (White House.gov)

WASHINGTON, August 8, 2014 – President Obama addressed the nation last night (Thursday) at 9:30 p.m. regarding essentially meaningless and very limited air strikes he’s ordered on Islamofascist ISIS “rebels” in Iraq. With little notice, the administration requested TV airtime for the address. But with few exceptions, broadcast and cable networks didn’t bother to cover it.

This kind of broadcast rebuff was fairly routine during the administration of Obama’s Republican Oval Office predecessor George W. Bush. But it’s virtually unprecedented during the current Democrat-led administration. White House spinmeisters have become accustomed to routinely making use of the lamestream media as the chief propaganda arm for broadcasting current administration talking points to the mass of low-information voters that keep them in office.

Granted, the request for broadcast time—made with this administration’s hallmark casual disregard for any other entity’s schedule that’s not its own—fell right in primetime on a rare summer night when the majors were actually carrying original programming, including a live “Big Brother on CBS, Rookie Blue on ABC, Gang Related on Fox” as well as “comedies on NBC, including Working the Engels,” according to Deadline Hollywood.

Not only that, DH noted, “a number of regional pre-season football games around the country” occupied local channel slots, pre-empting even regularly scheduled CBS programming in at least two major markets, New York City and Los Angeles.

Some local channels cut into their normal programming schedules, ABC shifted some programming, and NBC pre-empted Working the Engels to cover what was by most accounts the kind of underwhelming Presidential proclamation that was obviously interrupting preparations for Obama’s next tee-time. ABC and NBC ultimately did cover the address in many markets. But CBS and Fox did not.

It’s easy for incumbents to game political polls and spin them favorably. But it’s anecdotal evidence like the non-coverage of last night’s Presidential remarks that provides increasing evidence that even the lapdog media has begun to tire of the meaningless verbiage this President carefully doles out to his dwindling number of true believers, most of whom are now rapidly losing faith in this hollow, one-time would-be American Messiah.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17