President Joe Biden will not sit for a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox before the network airs the game on Sunday, according to a statement from the White House. In a later statement, Fox said that Biden is still invited to sit for the interview.
“The President was looking forward to an interview with Fox Soul to discuss the Super Bowl, the State of the Union, and critical issues impacting the everyday lives of Black Americans,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon. “We’ve been informed that Fox Corp has asked for the interview to be cancelled.”
However, Fox said in a statement hours after Jean-Pierre’s post that there was “was some initial confusion.”
“After the White House reached out to FOX Soul Thursday evening, there was some initial confusion,” a Fox Corp. spokesperson told news outlets. “FOX Soul looks forward to interviewing the President for Super Bowl Sunday.”
Fox Soul is the broadcaster’s streaming platform targeting black Americans. According to the channel’s Twitter account, it features topics about “Black News, Inspiration, Celebrity, Social Justice & more!”
It’s not clear if the White House will go ahead with the interview.
Jean-Pierre did not provide more details about why the interview was scheduled, although from her Twitter post, the White House appears to be signaling that it was Fox News that canceled it. Fox News Media did not immediately return an Epoch Times request for comment.
For the past decade or so, presidents have often conducted pre-game interviews before Super Bowls, which are typically the highest-rated television programs every year. Throughout his two terms, former President Barack Obama conducted numerous Super Bowl-related interviews, while former President Donald Trump participated in several; he declined to do so in 2018 when NBC hosted the Super Bowl.
Biden, meanwhile, has held pre-Super Bowl interviews with “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell in 2021 and “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt in 2022.
Anonymous Sources’ Claims
At least one unnamed Fox News executive claimed that the network offered to interview Biden with no strings attached. Fox News has not yet publicly responded to Jean-Pierre’s statement on Friday, and its website has not published any stories about the development as of Friday afternoon.
“We offered an interview with our top news anchors with no strings attached,” the Fox News executive told The Washington Post. “They walked away from a huge audience, and it’s a major missed opportunity.”
The President was looking forward to an interview with Fox Soul to discuss the Super Bowl, the State of the Union, and critical issues impacting the everyday lives of Black Americans. We’ve been informed that Fox Corp has asked for the interview to be cancelled.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) February 10, 2023
On Thursday, CNN’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter, citing anonymous sources, also said Biden might be snubbing the interview. “We don’t have a formal no, but we are operating like it’s not happening,” an alleged Fox News source told CNN.
This week, Jean-Pierre was asked by Capitol Hill reporters during her press briefings about whether Biden would do the Fox interview. She did not provide any updates in her responses.
Jean-Pierre’s allegation came after Fox News anchor Bret Baier said Tuesday that the network was awaiting confirmation from the Biden administration to go ahead with the interview set to air Sunday.
“The president is going to be out on the road, taking his message to the road. Every year, traditionally, the network covering the Super Bowl gets an interview with the president of the United States,” Baier said during the network’s coverage of Biden’s State of the Union speech to Congress. “We have formally asked for that interview, but we have not received an answer yet, whether they are going to officially do it or not … we’re running out of days,” he said.
After taking office in early 2021, Biden has not yet given a single interview with Fox News.
Fox’s top White House reporter, Peter Doocy, and Biden administration officials have been involved in tense moments since the president took office. Last year, Biden used an expletive to describe Doocy he was asked about decades-high inflation.
From The Epoch Times