A handful of stories attempt to speculate as to why the White House chose ABC News and Robin Roberts to interview President Obama yesterday.
Talking Points Memo’s David Taintor confirmed that the White House called ABC News and requested Roberts.
For background: most news organizations have standing interview requests with the President, so the White House can effectively choose which outlets to grant them to.
Politico’s Dylan Byers goes further, and cites sources inside ABC News:
“The White House went with Robin because of her personal rapport, their friendship, the past interviews — but also her race [African-American], even her age,” one producer at ABC said to POLITICO of the 51-year-old Roberts. “There is a very strong, very basic connection there.”
Meanwhile, executives at NBC are said to be furious that ABC landed the interview. In his NBC News special report, Brian Williams referred to the interview as “hastily organized,” which, in fairness, was true.
Of course, NBC had an hour-long exclusive in primetime with the President last week, an exclusive it described as “unprecedented,” so the network shouldn’t really be that upset about not getting this interview.