‘I Don’t Think He Wants To Answer’: Semafor EIC Says Biden Skipping Pre-Super Bowl Fox Interview Was Purposeful

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Semafor’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith said Monday on CNN that President Joe Biden’s decision to skip a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News was tactical.

Biden was slated to be interviewed on Fox Soul, but White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced Friday that Fox Corp asked for the interview to be “cancelled.” A Fox Corp spokesperson contradicted Jean-Pierre later Friday, telling the Daily Caller on Friday that despite some “initial confusion,” the interview was still on. Ultimately, Jean-Pierre turned out to be correct. The interview didn’t happen.

“President Biden actually broke with tradition and he declined to be interviewed on the network’s pregame show. Typically it’s a tradition for U.S. presidents to sit down with whoever is hosting and airing the Super Bowl for an interview,” said CNN host and former Caller reporter Kaitlan Collins. “How do they weigh a calculus like that of whether or not to go forward this this?” (RELATED: ‘Biden’s In Great Shape’: Schumer Throws His Support Behind President Biden)

“I think it’s pretty tactical,” Smith said. “I don’t think this was necessarily them trying to strike some big blow against [Fox owner] Rupert Murdoch, although if that’s a side benefit, I’m sure they’re into it. But they had tried to go to a subsidiary Fox channel, Fox Soul, to have the actress Vivica Fox — no relation — interview the president. She’s a supporter of his. When that kind of hit a bump, they discarded the whole thing. But I think, actually, mostly it’s about the timing.”

“If you had an interview with Joe Biden, if I had an interview with Joe Biden, you’d say, ‘Are you running for re-election? What is going on with the balloons?’ I don’t think he — I think hew wants to answer both of those questions at sort of the time and place of his choosing, and it wasn’t yesterday.”

Smith then said he thinks Biden will join Fox News for an interview when he and his advisers believe it will give him a “tactical advantage.”