All the major U.S television networks decided against broadcasting President Obama’s immigration speech and the White House continues to be disappointed, reports Yahoo News.
President Obama’s prime time Thursday night speech on immigration reform, announcing that he was going to move forward with his immigration plans on his own using his executive powers, failed to attract the interest of CBS, NBC and ABC. Though the White House implored the networks to run President Obama’s pivotal immigration address, the networks didn’t want to listen.
According to Politico, the networks felt Obama’s speech was political and therefore decided against airing it instead of their normal prime time programs.
“There was agreement among the broadcast networks that this was overtly political. The White House has tried to make a comparison to a time that all the networks carried President Bush in prime time, also related to immigration (2006),” wrote Mike Allen. “But that was a bipartisan announcement, and this is an overtly political move by the White House.”
Obama and the White House disagreed, however, a senior administration official citing the speech President Bush gave in 2006 to Politico.
“In 2006, Bush gave a 17-minute speech that was televised by all three networks that was about deploying 6,000 national guard troops to the border. Obama is making a 10-minute speech that will have a vastly greater impact on the issue. And none of the networks are doing it. We can’t believe they were aggrieved that we announced this on Facebook.”
White House Press Secretary, John Earnest, also made his disgruntlement clear, saying, “The decision made by the English language broadcast networks is disappointing.”
At the same time, Univision and Telemundo both broadcasted Obama’s immigration speech to their primarily Spanish speaking audiences. CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and Fox News also aired Obama’s immigration speech.
Earnest did show some optimism with regard to those that did broadcast President Obama’s speech, saying that the 8:00 p.m. time slot would capture “a sizable portion of the growing Spanish language audience at Univision and Telemundo… a decent cable news audience.”
Earnest also went on to reflect that all the new devices available for people to view Obama’s immigration speech would work in their favor, television and the major networks not being the end-all.
“(It’s) the optimal time to capture the attention of Americans on their smartphones and tablets, which as the TV execs will tell you, is how a significant percentage of Americans get their news these days.”
President Obama’s immigration reform reportedly seeks to keep about 5 million undocumented immigrants from being deported.
Image via Reuters