It doesn’t look like the traditional pre-Super Bowl interview with the president will take place this year, as conflicting statements by Fox Corporation and the White House sparked confusion on Friday.
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted that the President “was looking forward to an interview with Fox Soul to discuss the Super Bowl, the State of the Union and critical issues affecting the daily lives of Black Americans”, but that the White House “has been informed that Fox Corp has asked canceling the interview.”
Hours later, Fox, which is airing Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, hinted that the interview would take place after all.
“After the White House reached out to FOX Soul Thursday night, there was some initial confusion,” Fox Corporation said in a statement. “FOX Soul looks forward to interviewing the President for Super Bowl Sunday.”
However, in response to a question from CBS News, a White House official said Friday night that the interview had not been rescheduled.
“As we previously stated, we scheduled an interview with FOX Sports host Mike Hill and Vivica A. Fox with the President prior to the Super Bowl, and Fox Corp canceled the interview,” the White House official said. “FOX has released a statement indicating that the interview has been rescheduled, which is inaccurate.”
The network that airs the Super Bowl traditionally interviews the president before the big game.
FOX Soul is a digital network and streaming service launched in 2020 with a focus on black viewers. Mr. Biden has not done an interview with Fox News since he became president. The conservative cable channel is sometimes seen by the White House as too encouraging for the extremes of the conservative base and sometimes unfair to the Biden administration.
After Biden State of the Union address On Tuesday, Fox News’ Bret Baier said that Fox had “formally asked” for a Super Bowl interview.
“But we haven’t received an answer yet, whether they will officially do it or not,” Baier said. “We’re running out of days.”
Biden was interviewed by NBC News ahead of last year’s Super Bowl and, in 2021, anchors the “CBS Evening News” Norah O’Donnell interviewed him before the big game.
First Lady Jill Biden is scheduled to attend Super Bowl LVII to cheer on the Philadelphia Eagles against the Kansas Chiefs. Mr. Biden will not attend.