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Biden’s on-again off-again Fox Super Bowl interview off for good

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US President Joe Biden speaking at a White House event on February 10, 2023./AFP
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Feb 13, 2023 - 01:17 AM

WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden will not be sitting down for a Super Bowl interview with Fox broadcasting corporation after all, the White House said Saturday, following a day of conflicting accounts and confusion around the affair.

Biden, a Democrat, has been reluctant to grant the customary pre-game interview to Fox, a network known for prominently featuring right-wing hosts. Fox is broadcasting the football match this year.

In what appeared to be a compromise, Biden had agreed to an interview with Fox Soul, the corporation’s much smaller, Black-oriented streaming platform, but the interview was dropped by Fox, according to the White House.

“As we said earlier, we had arranged an interview… ahead of the Super Bowl and Fox Corp had the interview canceled,” a White House official said on condition of anonymity.

Game-day interviews with whichever broadcaster is airing the Super Bowl have become something of a tradition, giving US presidents a chance to speak live to huge audiences. Last year, the country’s biggest sporting event was watched by 100 million Americans.

But Biden has had a tense relationship with Fox, clashing publicly with the network’s main White House correspondent, Peter Doocy.

So the decision to reach out to Fox Soul appeared aimed at sidestepping the network’s more hostile interviewers, while still agreeing to the sit-down.

Confusion ensued after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that Biden had been “looking forward” to the interview with Fox Soul, but that Fox Corporation had changed its mind.

A Fox employee said later Friday that the interview was aborted by the White House, even as a Fox News team flew to Washington from Los Angeles for the sit-down.

“Our Fox team flew from LA to DC to do the interview but learned tonight the (White House) is not participating,” the staffer, who works for the parent company of the Fox News cable network, said on condition of anonymity.

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