Los Angeles Politics

Biden bypasses Fox News for Super Bowl interview on Fox Soul

President Biden will sit down for an interview with Fox Corp.‘s streaming service aimed at Black viewers, instead of doing a traditional pre-Super Bowl chat with a news anchor.

For this year’s game, airing Sunday on the Fox broadcast network, that assignment would normally have gone to Fox News, which is less than hospitable to Biden during most of its daytime coverage – although administration officials will appear – and downright hostile in prime time when its conservative opinion hosts pound away at his administration.

Nevertheless, the top-rated cable news network does reach a substantial number of viewers who identify as Democrats and political independents, according to Nielsen data.

The White House rejected a request from Fox News, which would have assigned “Fox News Sunday” anchor Shannon Bream or Bret Baier of “Special Report” to handle the interview, according to a network representative. On Thursday, the administration reached out to Fox Soul, a streaming service for Black viewers, which presumably will offer a friendlier setting. The White House has not confirmed Biden’s participation.

Launched in 2020, Fox Soul is a free, ad-supported service that can be watched on any internet-connected device.

A representative for Fox Corp. said Friday the interview will be conducted by actress Vivica A. Fox, who hosts two shows on Fox Soul, and Mike Hill from Fox Sports. The sit-down is being produced by James DuBose, the general manager of Fox Soul.

The trio arrived in Washington for the interview on Friday. But the company has not determined whether the taped sit-down will air on the pregame show ahead of the telecast of Super Bowl LVII pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the Philadelphia Eagles.

A presidential interview during the pregame show has become a recent tradition for the network that carries the Super Bowl. The setting provided the rare circumstance where Barack Obama sat down with Fox News when the parent company’s broadcast network carried the game.

But former President Donald Trump skipped the opportunity to sit with NBC News in 2018, the season in which the NFL was in turmoil over players’ on-field social justice protests. He appeared with Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was a staunch advocate for his administration, in 2020, and Bill O’Reilly in 2017. Trump also sat with CBS News anchor Margaret Brennan in 2019.

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