Primetime Dud: Obama Disappoints with Long-Winded, Vague Press Conference


By Jeff Poor, Business and Media Institute

Barack Obama between flags SC

When will the broadcast networks and their news divisions finally realize that, as much as they love him, President Obama is costing them an arm and a leg? They keep giving up millions in ad revenue for primetime presidential news conferences and other specials, and in return they get only vague answers to serious questions about his policy proposals?

President Barack Obama’s press conference at 8 p.m. on July 22 was advertised as an opportunity to resolve any of the unanswered policy questions reporters had about the health care initiative he and congressional leaders are attempting to push into law.

An analysis of Obama’s conference indicates the president took 11 questions from 10 reporters over the course of 46 minutes. The 10 reporters took a total of five minutes to ask their questions. The President 41 total minutes to reply to them.

Obama also included an eight-minute opening statement prior to answering questions. Each response took Obama an average of three minutes and 42 seconds to complete. However, the president’s first question, from Associated Press correspondent Ben Feller, took the president seven minutes and 28 seconds to reply to.

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