The media complains that President Bush doesn't do enough press conferences, but then when he schedules a speech about Iraq most major broadcasters won't even cover it.

CBS, NBC and Fox all said they would decide sometime Tuesday whether to carry the speech. Concerns centered on the potential newsworthiness of the speech and the fact that it was being given not in the Oval Office but far from Washington.

"You want to be certain you are broadcasting something that is newsworthy and vitally important to the American people," said one network executive who asked not to be identified.

As "vitally important" as "Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back"? Gosh, it's just the leader of the free world talking about the future of the biggest American military deployment in 30 years.

"On the one hand, they recognize if the president actually is going to make substantial news on Iraq, they probably should cover it," Sabato said. "But on the other hand, they realize this White House is famous for constructing political rallies and convincing the networks to cover them with the sole beneficiary being the president, not the American people."

That doesn't even make sense. The only way the President can benefit is if the viewing public at least thinks it is benefitting also. So Larry Sabato is saying that people are idiots for thinking they're benefitting when really the President is taking advantage of their stupidity. But on the third hand, maybe Larry Sabato isn't qualified to tell the American people when they are and aren't benefitting -- after all, his Crystal Ball didn't do very well at predicting close races during the last election cycle.



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