The Biden administration has played Fox News all week on whether or not Joe Biden would do the traditional Super Bowl interview with the network this Sunday. The White House went around Fox News on Thursday and made arrangements for a softball interview with two personalities with Fox Soul, a little known digital broadcast and streaming service. That deal was initially shot down by Fox Corp., prompting a White House statement on Friday. Hours later Fox Corp. relented, announcing that Fox Soul would be interviewing Biden and that the two Fox Soul personalities, Vivica A. Fox and Michael Hill, had flown into Washington to conduct the interview.
“The President was looking forward to an interview with Fox Soul to discuss the Super Bowl, the State of the Union, and critical issues impacting the everyday lives of Black Americans. We’ve been informed that Fox Corp has asked for the interview to be cancelled.”
The President was looking forward to an interview with Fox Soul to discuss the Super Bowl, the State of the Union, and critical issues impacting the everyday lives of Black Americans. We’ve been informed that Fox Corp has asked for the interview to be cancelled.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) February 10, 2023
Fox Corp. then issued a statement, “After the White House reached out to Fox Soul Thursday evening, there was some initial confusion. Fox Soul looks forward to interviewing the President for Super Bowl Sunday.”
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Friday night, the White House issued a statement saying the interview was still off (via Variety):
“As we said earlier, we had arranged an interview with Fox Sports Host Mike Hill & Vivica A. Fox with the President ahead of the Super Bowl and Fox Corp had the interview cancelled. FOX has since put out a statement indicating the interview was rescheduled, which is inaccurate,” a White House spokesperson said.”
…But Fox’s original intention was to have Biden interviewed by Fox News. The idea didn’t seem to go over well with the White House. Earlier Friday, a Fox News executive told Variety that “We offered an interview with our top news anchors with no strings attached. They’re walking away from a huge audience and it’s a major missed opportunity.” Within minutes, the White House Press Secretary tweeted that an agreement for an interview with Fox Soul had been scrapped by Fox Corp.
Fox Corp. later tried to embrace the new idea. “After the White House reached out to Fox Soul Thursday evening, there was some initial confusion. Fox Soul looks forward to interviewing the President for Super Bowl Sunday,” Fox Corp. said in a statement. The Fox broadcast network is expected to televise Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, February 13.
Earlier this week, Fox News anchor Bret Baier reported on the failure to reach an agreement with Biden for the interview:
WATCH: Fox’s @BretBaier: “Every year, traditionally the network airing the SuperBowl gets an interview with @POTUS. We have formally asked for that interview but we have not received an answer yet whether they are going to do it or not. We’re running out of days.” #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/ptEgkA5IA6
— TV News Now (@TVNewsNow) February 8, 2023