When it comes to going up to bat against questions from the news media, the only pitches President Obama likes to see are softballs.
And for the most part, that’s all he gets, largely because of his careful selection of media pitchers and their willingness to play the game. He loves to do interviews with soft throwers from ESPN, People Magazine and “Entertainment Tonight,” which he did recently, but not so much from hard-news hurlers such as The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, the nation’s two largest newspapers.
Obama as president has never done a sit-down interview with The Journal. He last did one with USA Today in December 2009, some 32 months ago.
Yet, on Monday, he did interviews from the White House with local TV anchors in Jacksonville, Fla., Norfolk, Va. and San Diego.
And when he does interviews with the big TV networks, he routinely seeks to pick the times, the dates, the topics and even the interviewers. And more often than not, he succeeds. For example, he granted an interview to NBC’s Matt Lauer that aired just before the Super Bowl last February (NBC broadcast the Super Bowl this year). It was no surprise that he chose that venue. The Super Bowl draws around 100 million viewers, the largest TV audience of the year. What was the big news off that interview? Obama said he deserves a second term.