Fox’s ‘American Idol’ vs. President Obama
Why the network won't air the President's 100th-day conference
Fox "decided not to broadcast President Obama's 100th-day press conference Wednesday night,” said Maria Elena Fernandez in the Los Angeles Times, and instead left the coverage to its cable networks. Fox was reportedly concerned that Obama’s 8 p.m. speech “could have possibly affected the American Idol results show,” which airs at 9 p.m., and the network didn’t “want to risk that during the critical sweeps period for ratings.”
Television networks “generally take White House requests for airtime very seriously,” said Brian Stelter in The New York Times, but apparently Fox is more concerned with its bottom line. And “millions of viewers who rely on over-the-air TV signals do not have access to cable news networks or C-SPAN”—looks like Fox isn’t worried about them.
“Maybe we should cut Fox just a bit of slack,” said Alynda Wheat in Entertainment Weekly. “For one thing, Obama is not the first president snubbed by Fox”—the network refused to air two of Bush’s addresses while he was in office. And “let’s face it,” Obama “seems to enjoy interrupting our favorite shows”—he’s already done so three times already.