According to Buzzfeed’s Evan McMorris-Santoro, the major broadcast networks turned down a White House request to allow the President to address the nation in primetime on Tuesday night about Obamacare.
“Three sources familiar with the request confirmed the White House asked for the prime time slot in their effort both to emphasize a bright moment following the challenging rollout and, more important, to try to reintroduce the country to a law that remains unpopular,” McMorris-Santoro reported.
The White House declined to comment on the Buzzfeed report.
After their request was turned down, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden lauded the enrollment numbers in a self-serving Rose Garden address, in front of a live audience of cheering supporters.
Besides the State of the Union speech, Obama has rarely spoken to the nation in primetime, preferring instead to use digital media and other nontraditional methods that don’t require the cooperation of traditional media.
The White House may have felt that claiming to have reached the Obamacare enrollment goal was an event worthy of a primetime address, but apparently even the broadcast networks didn’t want to be part of the charade. Besides the fact that the number of enrollees the administration claims is highly dubious—and meaningless unless you know how many of those people have actually paid for their policies, were previously uninsured, or were part of the “young invincibles,” as opposed to older, sicker people with pre-existing conditions—the networks greedily chose to maximize their profits instead of pretending that this was a momentous occasion.