Tom Brokaw said this morning that he’s “not crazy” about the notion that President Obama could reach out and choose which network star would interview him on gay marriage. That’s what happened last week, as the White House was looking for a personal way to share the news that the president had finished “evolving” on this controversial issue. It selected ABC’s Robin Roberts.
So is Brokaw on the Erik Wemple Blog bandwagon, irate about this abdication of editorial independence? Dying to vent about this breach of integrity by his profession.
Absolutely not. “We all played the game over the years,” says Brokaw, noting that the White House often manages a rotation of interviews among the networks; everyone gets a turn. “It’s the reality in which we live,” he said of the White House’s level of control.
This blog caught the NBC eminence after he filmed a video on Watergate at the Washington Post building. On his way to a 15th Street cafeteria, Brokaw repeated his disdain for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, alleging that the impact on middle America is magnified when you “put it on television and put on Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan.”
Meh. Allowing the White House to choose its interviewer reflects a deeper problem for American journalism than does a once-a-year party, though the ills could well be connected. Those who party with the White House, after all, may be more inclined to play ball with it.