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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