Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post sheds a little light on how Rahm F’n Emanuel leaned on network news executives to carry President Obama’s health care news conference. It’s the Chicago way.
In the days before President Obama’s last news conference, as the networks weighed whether to give up a chunk of their precious prime time, Rahm Emanuel went straight to the top.
Rather than calling ABC, the White House chief of staff phoned Bob Iger, chief executive of parent company Disney. Instead of contacting NBC, Emanuel went to Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric. He also spoke with Les Moonves, the chief executive of CBS Corp., the company spun off from Viacom.
Whether this amounted to undue pressure or plain old Chicago arm-twisting, Emanuel got results: the fourth hour of lucrative network time for his boss in six months. But network executives have been privately complaining to White House officials that they cannot afford to keep airing these sessions in the economic downturn.
The networks “absolutely” feel pressured, says Paul Friedman, CBS’s senior vice president: “It’s an enormous financial cost when the president replaces one of those prime-time hours. The news divisions also have mixed feelings about whether they are being used.”
Naw! You think!?
And no, this is not how the previous administration operated:
Tensions have been building behind the scenes. Some television executives say the Bush administration informally floated possible news conference dates in advance, while Obama officials basically notify the networks of their plans. Such an approach prompted calls between White House officials and the top executives at each network, and a meeting between Gibbs and the Washington bureau chiefs.
Buyer’s remorse. It’s what’s for breakfast.
MSM Awakenings: Hey, maybe problems like Greece have something to do with spending money they don’t have
June 30, 2015 08:57 AM by Doug Powers
How much of Hillary’s gay pride swag will the Clinton Foundation’s Middle Eastern donors buy? (Sunday open thread)
June 28, 2015 10:14 AM by Doug Powers
June 15, 2015 12:01 PM by Doug Powers
NBC News thinking ‘creatively’ about new role for Brian Williams (which is what got him into trouble in the first place)
June 1, 2015 09:42 AM by Doug Powers
May 13, 2015 05:56 PM by Doug Powers