Wow: Four Networks to Pass on Obama's Historic Amnesty Address

Posted: Nov 20, 2014 11:35 AM

That is to say, they won’t cover it live. The Hill reports:

Three major networks will not air President Obama's prime-time address Thursday outlining his executive actions on immigration.

Officials with ABC, CBS and Fox confirmed to The Hill that Obama's 8 p.m. speech from the White House will not be carried on their networks. CNN reported that NBC would not be carrying the address either. Cable news networks are expected to carry the address, as is the Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo.

Why? In part because the White House did not give them advanced notice, and in part because the major news networks are in the business of making money:

A source at one of the major networks told The Hill that the White House did not officially request prime-time coverage on the networks Thursday, a big night for ratings given popular shows on several networks, including ABC’s “Shondaland” schedule of shows created by producer Shonda Rhimes.

As a business decision, this seems like a no-brainer. Ratings will be much higher carrying “popular shows” than another groan-inducing and "prime time" presidential address. And furthermore, since at least two Spanish-language networks will pick up President Obama’s remarks, this isn’t a total disaster.

“Given their allies in all the right places,” Hot Air’s Noah Rothman recently observed, “it’s hard to imagine that the White House is exactly inconsolable over their snub by the broadcast networks.”

Indeed. If viewers who regularly watch these networks tune in (as they almost certainly will), the news of the president’s executive amnesty will reach its intended audience. Of course, this isn't an ideal situation, but nor is it a terrible one, either.

For what it’s worth, I’ll leave you with this video released today by House Republicans. It’s called “Stop Acting Alone”: