White House Says Biden Will Not Do a Super Bowl Interview With Fox
WASHINGTON — President Biden will not sit down for an interview with Fox News ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl, breaking with a tradition in which presidents have used the sporting event to speak to a massive television audience.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, confirmed in a tweet on Friday that the interview would not take place this year. Typically, the president gives an interview with the network that is broadcasting the game; Mr. Biden had participated in the tradition in past years when NBC and CBS hosted the event.
Fox News had invited Mr. Biden to participate in a pregame interview with one of the network’s news anchors. The White House did not respond with a definitive answer, and on Friday, it officially sent word to Fox News that Mr. Biden would not sit for the interview, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity to share private discussions.
In her tweet, Ms. Jean-Pierre said that the White House had been in discussions with Fox Soul, a streaming channel aimed at Black audiences that is operated by a separate arm of the Fox Corporation, not the news division.
“The President was looking forward to an interview with Fox Soul to discuss the Super Bowl, the State of the Union, and critical issues impacting the everyday lives of Black Americans,” she wrote. “We’ve been informed that Fox Corp has asked for the interview to be cancelled.”
Representatives for the Fox Corporation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Tensions have simmered between the Biden White House and Fox News, whose marquee conservative hosts regularly assail the president, his agenda and his family. The prospective interview ahead of the Super Bowl would likely have been conducted by a news anchor like Bret Baier or Martha MacCallum, rather than an opinion host like Tucker Carlson.
Still, high-profile members of Mr. Biden’s cabinet have gone on Fox News in the past. Gene Sperling, a special adviser, appeared on Ms. MacCallum’s program on Wednesday evening. Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, regularly appears on the network.
Mr. Baier brought up Mr. Biden’s lack of responsiveness during the network’s State of the Union coverage on Tuesday night. “We have formally asked for that interview, but we have not received an answer yet, whether they are going to officially do it or not,” Mr. Baier told viewers. “We are running out of days.”
Harold Ford Jr., a Fox News co-host and former Democratic congressman, told Mr. Baier that he hoped the White House would play ball. “He should accept the invitation,” he said of Mr. Biden. “It’s a tradition that should be continued.”