The White House canceled President Biden's Super Bowl interview with Fox after the network had flown its television crew from Los Angeles to Washington to record an agreed-upon sit-down with the commander-in-chief.
According to a source close to the negotiations, the Fox Soul was taken aback by White House press secretary Karine Jean-announcement Pierre's on Friday that the interview had been canceled, just one day after the administration had pitched the outlet last minute to conduct the pre-game interview.
After a last-minute flight from LA to DC, the TV crew was left out in the cold, according to a report by The Washington Times.
“The crew that was agreed upon was sent from LA to Washington, D.C and had every expectation to do the interview,” the person, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, told The Washington Times.
After weeks of back and forth over conducting the interview with Fox News, the White House reached out to the network on Thursday to set up the pre-game interview with Fox Soul, the live-streaming platform that caters to Black viewers.
Interviews with presidents have traditionally aired ahead of the Super Bowl on networks carrying the game. Those interviews are usually recorded on the Friday before the Sunday game.
Mr. Biden conducted pre-Super Bowl interviews with CBS and NBC during his first two years in office, but has maintained a frosty relationship with Fox News, a Fox subsidiary that broadcasts this year's National Football League championship game.
After the White House contacted Fox Soul on Thursday, Fox Sports Host Mike Hill and Vivica A. Fox agreed to the interview immediately, despite the fact that the White House was still negotiating a separate pre-game interview with Fox News.
A representative from Fox Soul emailed the White House just before takeoff on Friday to say that its crews were about to take off, and stated in the email that Fox Soul would not be able to complete the interview unless the President also sat down with Fox News.
Ms. Jean-Pierre immediately blamed the network for the interview cancellation.
“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,” Ms. Jean-Pierre posted on Twitter.
“We’ve been informed that Fox Corp. has asked for the interview to be canceled.”
According to a source familiar with the conversation, the network did not request that the interview be canceled. The company also stated that Fox Soul had permission to conduct the interview regardless of whether the president agreed to meet with Fox News.
Ms. Jean-post Pierre's was followed by a Fox statement confirming that the interview would go ahead despite "some initial confusion" after the White House contacted Fox Soul on Thursday.
The Fox Soul "looks forward to interviewing the President for Super Bowl Sunday," according to the statement.Those efforts were futile, and the White House has since reiterated its original claim that Fox canceled the interview.