By CHRIS MEGERIAN and DAVID BAUDER
NEW YORK (AP) — After a day of mixed signals, President Joe Biden awarded the traditional pre-Super Bowl interview to the little-known Fox Soul entertainment streaming service.
Fox, which confirmed the decision on Friday, represents the president’s rejection of Fox News, whose commentators have frequently criticized Biden.
Over the past two decades, presidential interviews have become a regular feature of Super Bowl pregame programming, often conducted by the network’s broadcast game’s news department. This year, the game aired on the Fox broadcast network.
While Fox News opinion hosts Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity have done interviews with Barack Obama and Donald Trump in the past, Fox has given the White House the same news as Brett Beyer or Shannon Bream Announcer’s meeting.
Fox Soul does not have a regular news program. The interview will be moderated by “The Queen’s Cocktail Party” host Vivica A. Fox and sportscaster Mike Hill.
A spokesperson said it was uncertain Friday night whether their interview would air on the Super Bowl pregame show.
White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre did not explicitly reject Fox News at noon Friday, but said Biden had been “looking forward” to an interview on Fox Soul, which began in 2020 and is aimed at black audiences. But she said Fox opted out of the interview.
Fox Corp. said in a statement Friday afternoon that there was some “initial confusion” when the White House contacted Fox Soul on Thursday night. The company said it would conduct interviews.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In 2021, Biden spoke with CBS News anchor Nora O’Donnell before the game, and last year he spoke with NBC News’ Lester Holt. Hannity interviewed Trump in 2020.