The child as president 158

 Of course the networks have brought it on themselves having (with the exception of Fox) dedicated themselves to bringing an exhibitionist child to power.  

‘Twinkle-toes’, ‘The Teleprompter Kid’, ‘The Affirmative Action President’, ‘The One’, ‘The Messiah’, ‘the Child’, are some of his more common soubriquets, not all of them aired by the networks. 

‘I am making a speech, I am being filmed, I have an adoring crowd about me, therefore I AM,’ is his philosophy, his frequent performances imply.  

From The Live Feed:

Networks are pulling their shows over to the side of the road to make room for the lights and sirens of president Barack Obama’s latest primetime address.

Obama will take to the air next Tuesday evening on four broadcast networks and bump the most popular series on television, Fox’s "American Idol."

Fulfilling their scheduling civic duty is starting to seem increasingly cumbersome to broadcasters, however. Between a struggling economy and ratings sagging in midseason, every interruption costs networks advertising dollars and momentum. 

"At a time when we’re struggling not only financially but to build audiences, this doesn’t help on either front," one network executive said. "These repeated interruptions – and the rumor of even more to come – really make it difficult to build audience flow and loyalty. We will all lose one or two million dollars for this."

The presidential election resulted in a fall season regularly interrupted by political news coverage, followed by primetime inauguration coverage, then two primetime speeches about the economy. The White House requesting yet another primetime slot, during sweeps and right after several shows dropped to new lows in last night’s ratings, has some executives exasperated.

"I believe in the president and his policies, and as broadcasters we have a responsibility to provide the airtime," said another network insider. "But these frequent primetime requests are wreaking serious havoc with our schedule and our advertisers. Ratings are down everywhere and the airtime is costing us all significant dollars when we can least afford it."

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 19, 2009

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