One of these networks is not like the others

ONE OF THESE NETWORKS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS…. Chris Cillizza argues that the political number of the day is five.

That’s the number of networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Univision — that President Barack Obama will appear on this Sunday as he seeks to re-build momentum for his health care plan.

Putting the president so far forward on Sunday — particularly so soon after his primetime address to a joint session of Congress last week — is evidence that the White House recognizes that the deal is far from closed with the American people when it comes to health care.

In moments of crisis during the 2008 campaign, Obama’s campaign always put their candidate front and center — knowing that he was the most convincing and compelling advocate for his own policies that they had in the stable.

I tend to think this is a good strategy. There will be plenty of pundits talking about the president being “over-exposed,” but having the president in front of the public, making the case for his own agenda, seems wise. Why hit five networks? Because news consumers are fragmented, and reaching a large audience requires making the rounds.

And after the Sunday shows, President Obama will be in New York to appear on David Letterman’s show on Monday night.

Of course, you might notice that there’s one network missing from the president’s line-up. A senior administration official told CNN that Obama will be appearing on every network except Fox News.

Time‘s James Poniewozik argues that this is a “mistake.”

The perception may be that Fox is a nest of Obama-haters whose audience is monolithically opposed to him, but I think he would only benefit from being perceived to have the stones to do Fox and do it regularly.

The White House would be wise to ignore Poniewozik’s advice. Fox News isn’t even a news network — it’s a propaganda outlet that just finished promoting a right-wing march on Washington. The network exists as an appendage of the Republican Party. For the president to reward the network with “regular” interviews makes about as much sense as chatting with Limbaugh or the Weekly Standard, and expecting quality journalism with professional standards.