The White House courtship of the battlegrounds continues as KSNV-TV, Channel 3 prepares for yet another interview with President Barack Obama.
Anchor Jim Snyder is prepping for the one-on-one set for next Monday in Washington, news director Bob Stoldal confirmed. It’ll be Snyder’s second sit-down with Obama since December, as the administration continues its outreach to TV news in swing states.
The White House has been bundling Obama interviews on a rough monthly schedule, inviting in anchors from key markets for brief yet coveted face time with the president.
With general interview topics sometimes suggested by White House staff, the strategy allows Obama to deliver messages about his policies to local viewers via questioners from beyond the Beltway. The access granted to out-of-towners has raised some hackles in the White House press corps, and also from some local newspaper reporters who gripe about favoritism shown to their electronic brethren.
At a news briefing last month, White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked by an irritated beat reporter whether the visiting journalists submitted questions ahead of time, a query he dismissed.
"While we believe the White House press corps, the national press corps serves a vital role and is an important avenue through which people across America get their information, the fact is a lot of Americans get their information from local news, from local television, local newspapers, and the president is very interested in talking to reporters from those outlets," Carney said.
Not surprisingly given the state’s battleground standing, Nevada TV anchors have been regular guests on Pennsylvania Avenue in recent months.
On Feb. 14, Paula Francis of KLAS-TV, Channel 8 was dispatched to Washington for an eight-minute interview. Francis’ timing was fortuitous — Congress had just reached an agreement on extending payroll tax cuts and the major state-federal settlement with mortgage companies over foreclosure abuses had been announced just days earlier.
On March 12, Adriana Arevalo of KINC-TV interviewed Obama. As the anchor for the Univision affiliate in Las Vegas was taping her standup on the White House lawn, Obama’s dog Bo raced in the background — which some felt upstaged her report.
On June 11, Obama stood with Kristen Remington of KTVN-TV, Channel 2 in Reno. She was one of eight local television reporters/anchors each granted four minutes of interview time that day, along with the chance to throw a question to Carney at his daily press briefing.
Besides asking Obama about Nevada’s sorry foreclosure situation and high unemployment, Remington as she was wrapping up took a flier and asked Obama for his prediction on the NBA finals. He took a pass.