President Barack Obama’s nationally televised address Thursday night will in fact be televised, but Americans will have to either tune it to cable news—sucks, right?—the Internet or Spanish-language channels to hear the president’s 10-minute announcement concerning his executive actions on immigration.
The president is expected to lay out his plan for a controversial executive order that would pave the path to speedier citizenship for America’s four million undocumented citizens that fit the administration’s criteria for a residency program.
Obama made the announcement on Facebook on Wednesday.
Millions will be forced to tolerate intolerable and irritating chatter from talking heads on cable news because the three major networks—ABC, CBS and ABC—have reportedly deemed it a better business decision to not interrupt regularly scheduled dramas, comedies, and Thursday Night Football (the president definitely can’t compete against Kansas City vs. Oakland) for Obama’s speech.
Or you can skip the incessant bantering altogether and just tune in at 8 p.m. to the White House’s livestream site on a phone, tablet or computer, while also watching your favorite network TV show, of course.
As you can imagine, the White House is less than thrilled with the networks’ decision, and apparently, a tad befuddled.
A senior administration official complained to Politico that President George W. Bush’s 2006 speech about deploying national guard troops to the border was covered by all three networks.
Politico later reported that the networks decided not to air Obama’s speech because it’s too political:
“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 . But that was a bipartisan announcement, and this is an overtly political move by the White House.”
Republicans in recent days have likened Obama to a dictator for sidestepping Congress over such an important issue. There have been threats of lawsuits, impeachment, and even one representative who said Obama could be jailed.
The country is more than two weeks removed from a mid-term election that saw the lowest voter turnout in more than half a century, and is already deeply critical of Congress and the president. So, who can blame anyone who wants to watch Grey’s Anatomy and The Biggest Loser instead of a political speech that will further inflame the electorate?
As for the Press, a bunch of reporters will be busy checking out Citizen Four, the critically acclaimed documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Zack Tirana fans are more than welcome to join us, just please, no rowdiness during the film. Last thing we need is a repeat of what happened during the group Kill The Messenger viewing. (Yikes!) Thanks in advance.