Networks ‘Caved’ to White House ‘Soprano Tactics,’ Forced to Run ‘News Conference’ during Primetime Sweeps

Washington Post:

One by one the broadcast networks caved yesterday and agreed to preempt the first night of the May ratings race to make way for President Bush’s non-news conference, after “‘Sopranos’-style arm-twisting” by the White House, as one network suit described it.

The President’s poll numbers are at an all-time low (although 47 percent is miraculously high considering his incompetence and malfeasance), so the news conference was called in order to rally the faithful – very few of the rest of us can bear witnessing George W. Buch extemporizing for an hour, even with talking points on the lectern and cues from whoever it is who’s feeding him lines via the communciations unit wired to his back.

The White House is so out of touch with “real” Americans that they were caught unaware that ratings Sweeps for the television networks began last night. What this means to the average viewer is that, finally, a whole rack of non-rerun shows were slated to begin at 8 PM, including “Survivor,” “Will & Grace” and “The O.C.” The five cable news outlets and PBS were on board but the networks were balking.

…Six networks just weren’t enough for the president’s program. So the White House started in with the “Sopranos” stuff, as that network suit described it.

First NBC, which, according to TV industry sources, said it would consider carrying the president’s chit-chat with reporters if it started at 8 so the network didn’t have to preempt both its 8-9 p.m. sitcom block and “The Apprentice.”

The White House agreed.. Thus can it be said that Donald Trump forced the president of the United States to reschedule an address to the nation. Way to go, Donald!

The funniest moment – actually the only funny moment – for me ocurred after the news event as I was surfing the cable newsers. I happened to catch Fred Barnes on Fox News toss his last shred of credibility into the wood chipper.

Recapping the President’s performance, Barnes described Bush as “dazzling.” Yes, “dazzling.”

Now that’s funny!


2 thoughts on “Networks ‘Caved’ to White House ‘Soprano Tactics,’ Forced to Run ‘News Conference’ during Primetime Sweeps”

  1. They may have been able to strong arm the networks, but I don’t think they got the viewership they anticipated. His press conferences aren’t fun anymore. His homespun wisdom comes off as contrived and he has nothing to say. Funny he is still pushing this while the markets crash all around him. What ever happened to his planned trip to Mars?

  2. They have really come on strong with the charm offensive – putting Laura out there to soften his edges at the Correspondent’s dinner, etc.

    This may help with Bush’s overall approval rating but I think people are starting to see him for what he really is – and that can’t be good for him.

    As to the issues, I saw some spot polling after the news conference that showed support for his Social Security plan had actually declined.

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