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Obama Gives Access, But Which Newscasts Gave it Coverage?


NBC News White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie snapped this photo of Pres. Obama during his Tuesday news conference.

For just the third time since taking office, Pres. Obama took questions from the White House press corps in the briefing room yesterday. It was Obama’s first news conference since July (although, he has had other exchanges with reporters including at the end of the Copenhagen trip in December) and came just a day after a Washington Post story quoted several members of the press corps who were upset about the lack of access to the president.

So we made some calls to the broadcast networks today to see which of the evening newscasts — with their combined viewership of 25 million — aired the comments from the president.

• ABC – Jake Tapper, who was called on by the president, reported a piece for World News with Diane Sawyer focusing on bipartisanship.

• CBS – Chip Reid reported a story for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, also focused on bipartisanship. Reid, who was quoted in the WaPo story by Howard Kurtz, was not called on by the president.

• NBC – Nightly News with Brian Williams did not produce a piece from the White House, nor did they use a soundbite from the president. White House correspondent Chuck Todd, who was also quoted in the Kurtz story, was called on by the president. Obama’s comments did get play on MSNBC, which, like all the cable news nets, carried Obama’s briefing live.

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