Saturday, February 23, 2013

KGO-TV's Ashley gets White House 'Exclu' with Obama, (Sort of)

Dan Ashley, lead anchor at KGO-TV, (ABC7), was in Washington last week and got an exclu with the President.

Sort of.

The White House made Mr. Obama available for five minutes with an assortment of local TV stations across the nation. One of those that made the cut was KGO-TV, presumably because the White House wanted to give some love to a big station on the West Coast, (among others).

With barely five or so minutes, you can't ask a lot of questions. Even tough questions.

My friend, Mike James, editor of Newsblues, (paywall), gave a little ribbing to Ashley's interview:

"Ashley asked Obama about playing golf with Tiger Woods last weekend. "He plays a different game than I do. He's on another planet," said the president.
Proof positive that local news anchors CAN ask the tough questions."

To be fair, these local stations that make the WH cut, are in a mostly controlled environment. In that respect, it's difficult to imagine that Ashley had any chance to offer something more substantive. He did ask Obama about Prop 8, (the same-sex marriage act that the Supreme Court will rule on in June) and the possibility of a sequester budget.

And keep in mind that had Ashley tried to go Mike Wallace on the POTUS, I'm sure he and KGO probably would have been on the future WH cut list.

It's a local TV-news catch-22 deluxe: you get a coveted interview with the President and sure, you'd like to be able to ask a few pointed questions that don't appear to be too cushy; in that respect, I think Ashley did about as well as could be expected.

In any event, KGO got the gig.

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  1. It must burn Mattress Man's ass that Ashley got an interview with Obama, while Mattress Man got shafted even though Obama promised him on air a 15 minute interview if he was elected. As I recall, Lowenstein tried every avenue possible and still he was rejected. Can't blame Obama, Ronnnnnn came across as a smarmy opportunist during that interview with then candidate Obama!

  2. Mattress Man couldn't do a decent interview if his life depended on it. You schmooze, you lose, Ronny.

  3. Ashley didn't "make the cut." This junket was offered to strategic markets, based upon Congressional districts which did not vote for Obama. (SF's ADA reaches into several interior districts in the Central Valley which are decidedly "red.") Standard junket rules applied. (The WH used their own video equipment.) Very small market reporters were included with Dan. (Des Moines, Iowa, for example.) Several newsrooms in the Bay Area turned down the offer.

    1. Appears that this "interview" was very simply just a photo op, orchestrated by the White House, that KGO fell for.

  4. This president is consistently held to a lower standard than other Presidents. This is racism of a benign category, the pre-judge-ments now borne of sharply lower expectations than ever before.

    To belong to the Preferred Wooly Sheep Committee, one has to act as though it is an unstated, but universally proven and accepted belief that Pres. O is not up to the job in its' classic definition, but civilized folk are supposed to act as though he is. It is today's loudly whispered 'Gentleman's Agreement'. A typical 21st Cent. American reporter is an Evangelical- Democrat who wants/needs to be liked and publicly accepted by his peer group, vs being respected by the more nebulous (non-ass kissing)public, all objectivity be damned.

    There was a broadway show long ago which illustrated this theme of aggressive cronyism, it was How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, starring Robert Morse. His character actually did succeed, and as with a Peter Principal, that character did not know what to do with his undeserved success, so he sabotaged it before someone else did.

    1. Peter barely remembers his principal from grade school days, but tries to do so as a matter of principle.
      As far as Dan Ashley asking some "substantive" question, he did. Oral arguments at the Supreme Court are imminent in the Prop. 8 case. The administration filed an amicus brief this past week re: DOMA and the fundamental principle in the Prop 8 case, that bans on same sex marriages violate the equal protection clause..

  5. San Rafael,

    Congratulations on dressing up your criticism of President Obama with an irrelevant reference to a broadway show. Stripped of your various pretentious you are claiming that: (1) Obama is consistently held to a lower standard than other Presidents, (2) that it's racially motivated
    (3) There is some loudly whispered [agreement???] "unstated, but universally proven and accepted belief" that Obama "is not up to the job but civilized folk are supposed to act as though he is.."

    Your final point about the Preferred Wooly Sheep Committee and the loudly whispered 'Gentleman's Agreement' sounds particularly nutty but you provide no support for any of your claims.

  6. Re; 12:14 pm commenter, I'll attempt to provide support for some of my previously stated claims about the man currently called "Our President". Many, not all, but many people of the liberal persuasion are propelled by the strength of their feelings, vs the basic logical themes of cause, effect and affect.

    Latest example of ridiculous arguments that often hurt more people than they help; tax the rich! Increase minimum wage across the board, no exceptions! Allow illegal aliens to have free or sharply reduced tuition, actual americans now pay 40% more. Create and maintain Sanctuary Cities, screw that annoying law, compassion must be shown! If someone dissents with my view (which is currently the most popular by the way)that means they hate me, and all my friends.

    The Preferred Wooly Sheep Committee comes from groups such as these, in their younger years they may have been professional dissenters, aimless rabble rousers or over photographed Occupiers.
    The Woolies are the majority of today's media. Compliant peacocks.

    A few days ago, there were reports that the white house reporters were angry, even "livid" at not having access to the President for about four days during his golfing trip. They finally do get a spot of time with Mr. Obama, and what is one of the first questions? 'Did you beat Tiger Woods at golfing'. What? Nothing about these drones spying on Americans everywhere? Nothing about finding out what the hell happened in Bengazi and firing someone to prevent a re-occurance? Nothing about Californians paying almost $6 G.D. dollars for a gallon of gas? No, nothing about that hard boring stuff. No numbers please, we're Americans.

    Those Preferred Wooly Sheep show a singleness of purpose, they move swiftly in lockstep, in
    a synchronized type of choreography. That sort of media machine helped re-elect their choice of president. That sort of media machine is as dangerously graceful (and faceless) as in a Leni Wertmueller Black and White moving picture show.

    I can't take up too much more of Mr. Rich L. generous bandwidth in this entry. To post is a privilege, not a right, no? Time for another sip of Hot Peppermint Tea!

  7. Dear San Rafael,

    Barack Obama is the President of the United States, NOT merely "the man currently called 'Our President'." It's an insulting comment that reflects the depth of your antipathy for Mr. Obama.

    Mentioning Obama's tax increase for the rich, immigration policies,etc. doesn't prove anything about him being judged by different standards than previous presidents. It merely clarifies your disagreement with his policies; the policies he ran on and was re-elected because of.

    Please provide any factual support that 40% of "actual Americans" now pay more in taxes or that Obama created sanctuary cities.

    As for your so called "Preferred Wooly Sheep," you still haven't provided any basis for your claim about a "loudly whispered 'Gentleman's Agreement'" about an "accepted belief that "accepted belief that Pres. O is not up to the job."

    Where is that coming from? How long have you been hearing these whispers?

    Your paranoid claim about "Preferred Wooly Sheep [who] show a singleness of purpose, they move swiftly in lockstep, in a synchronized type of choreography" to re-elect Obama is merely a pretentious restatement of conservative wing nuts 101, blame everything on that "liberal mainstream media." Of course comparing it to Nazi Germany is a ridiculous extra step that convinces no one but the uneducated believers who need no further convincing.

    If you're paying "$6 G.D. dollars for a gallon of gas" it's time to change gas stations. Obviously you'll say anything to make a point. "Drones spying on Americans everywhere." Are you getting your news updates form the National Enquirer or Rush Limbaugh.

    Yes, the press asks Presidents stupid questions? You think that started with Obama?

    Obviously you disapprove of President Obama. But making up a collection of ridiculous arguments about his deficiencies and floating paranoid accusations about the media do nothing but reassure yourself about your own preconceived notions.

  8. When I read these incessant negative comments about President Obama on blogs such as this one, I'm reminded how naive people are about real issues and policies, and how they simply parrot the talking points they hear on Limbaugh or Fox News. We've got some really dense people out there, but remember, American re elected Richard Nixon by the landslide, gave Warren Harding one of the biggest wins in presidential history, and also voted in George W. Bush for a second time. There is not limit to the depth of stupidity and ignorance among many Americans today.

  9. I agree with Mike James, Rich.

    While I understand your defense of the TV anchor and the limitations imposed, as a professional journalist who has interviewed plenty of politicians, I would never have embarrassed myself with such a short interview whose capstone was asking a powder-puff question that only added insult to injury.

    And I like the KGO anchor. He's a solid TV journalist, but I'll bet he might even be shaking his head in retrospect. If we all could only have our bad ones back to do over!