Super Bowl LII was set this year to continue what has become a tradition over the past several years: The President of the United States sitting down to do some sort of interview prior to the start of the big game.
However, this time around it’s already clear that things are changing. After all, President Trump is reportedly declining NBC’s invitation to sit down for a discussion prior to the start of the big game on February 4. Deadline reports that the network is going to continue to keep the invitation out there just in case Trump decides to change his mind down the road. Trump did participate in the annual traditional last year when the Super Bowl was airing on Fox, as Bill O’Reilly asked him a series of questions about the early days of his Presidency.
We cannot proclaim that Trump forgoing this interview is much of a surprise for a wide array of different reasons, most notably that the President has a complicated history with NBC. They booted his Miss USA Pageant after some of his comments during the election, and while they continued to broadcast The Celebrity Apprentice for at least one year, they did some with Arnold Schwarzenegger and distanced themselves from him as much as they possibly could. Trump has also repeatedly lambasted the reporting of NBC News and many other organizations. He also has been very blunt in his feelings towards the NFL.
Yet, Trump turning down this interview also does mean that he would be turning down one of his largest possible television audiences to try to push his agenda. Whether he likes the network or the news outlet, there are not many opportunities out there where there are tens of millions of people all sitting together in the same place listening to some of what you have to say. From the vantage point of attention alone, we’d argue that this is a somewhat-surprising decision on his part.
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