The President made quite an interesting choice of venues yesterday. In the midst of heavy-duty intrigue and maneuvering on Capitol Hill regarding health care, he appeared on Fox News. A gutsy move, I would have to say, being interviewed by probably his least favorite media outlet, other than probably Rush or Glenn Beck. The host was Bret Baier and the interview was quite interesting,
There was some give and take that seemed a bit testy, almost reminiscent of Dan Rather’s questioning of Nixon many years ago. A number of media outlets used the term contentious, some called it challenging or combative. I wonder about the timing unless the idea was to reach a large audience and gamble that the President would get his message out on his terms. Not sure that he accomplished that.
For one, he made another, shall we say, misstatement, akin to the 3,000% decrease in health insurance premiums statement , made in Ohio a day or so ago.(Press Secretary Gibbs called it a misstatement, saying the President meant $3,000, which HHS Secretary Sebelius also used,I doubt that figure also) Baier asked about some of the “deals” that were made to entice wavering Senators to vote yes. One was to Senator Landrieu and had become known as the Louisiana Purchase. In responding, Obama referenced Katrina and all the difficulties that ensued for Louisiana. Then inexplicably, he compared it to the earthquake that affected Hawaii. Unbelievable, partly because he lived there . Fortunately, Hawaii has not been impacted by an earthquake in many years. A minor pont, sure, but it replicated his earlier error in Ohio and did not help his case.
One other thing from the interview that bugged me a bit. Baier referenced some 18,000 e-mails that he had received and began to read from one of them. The President quickly responded that he receives some 40,000 emails and letters daily. Sounded like he was playing a numbers game. ” I get more mail than you,” ha! Not a presidential statement. How about one more. “Whatever they end up voting on…it is going to be a vote for or against my health care proposal.” That sums it up rather well, don’t you think?
Maybe they said it and maybe they did not. Drudge reported yesterday that CBS executives would in all likelihood ask Katie Couric to take a pay cut. She makes $15 million a year in case you forgot and is in the 4th year of her contract paying that princely sum.
When she took over the evening news , it was running 3rd behind Brian Williams and NBC and Charles Gibson and ABC. After a brief spurt, those ratings have settled in to where they were. The only difference is that Diane Sawyer has taken the helm at ABC.
The talk of a pay cut came amidst news that CBS would be laying off still more people from the news division, including some at the venerable “60 Minutes.” Ironically that comes not all that long after the death of Don Hewitt.
But the next day, CBS News President Sean McManus denied any talk of a pay cut, no matter what Drudge or the New York Post might have reported. To make things even more interesting, there is a bit of a glam article about Ms Couric in the current issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Not the best timing. Oh, McManus also went on to praise Couric’s job performance profusely.
I really could care less whether she gets a pay cut or not even though she has got to be overpaid if #1 Brian William,s makes only 7 million dollars a year. But it is all so much fun to see, is it not? There is also no truth to the rumor that Couric is miffed that the title of her show was not changed to the C( ouric) BS Evening news.
As your predecessor( who is now whining to Obama about the need for a government commission to save the press) would say, “courage.” Oh, you remember Dan Rather do you not?
Food for thought. The viewing audience for the week of January 25 was 10 million for Williams, 8.5 million for Sawyer and 6.8 million for Couric. Figures are from Chris Ariens at TV Newser.
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