Today, reporters get special access during "Live at the White House"...
Update: Click here to watch some of the interviews with Kass
The White House is today rolling out the red carpet for local TV affiliates, giving nine anchors from 2012 battleground states a day of special access that includes on-air interviews with President Obama. "Live at the White House" is designed to give the President yet another chance to discuss how his $447 billion American Jobs Act, stalled by Congress, will benefit communities. The anchors will interview Cabinet Secretaries; tour First Lady Obama's Kitchen Garden with Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass; have lunch at the White House; and tour the interior before broadcasting from the South Lawn for their evening newscasts. (Kass, above)
The President will conduct his interviews beginning at 11:00 AM in the Cabinet Room. Each journalist will also get to ask Press Secretary Jay Carney a question during the daily press briefing.
The anchors will have lunch with Senior Advisor David Plouffe, and their on-camera tour of the State Floor inside the White House is with Curator William Allman. The Cabinet Secretaries being made available to discuss the President's jobs bill are Housing, Education, Homeland Security, and Transportation. Special risers have been built on the South Lawn for the evening broadcasts.
It's not uncommon for the White House to focus on specific branches of the media with dedicated events. For instance, last month, Mrs. Obama hosted her first-ever roundtable interview for reporters from digital outlets. Mrs. Obama will be in New Orleans for much of today, however. Kass, who oversees Mrs. Obama's South Lawn Kitchen Garden, has led many tours for reporters who don't regularly cover the White House.
Today's event is timed to coincide with the fact that November is sweeps month in the world of TV. The stations and their anchors are from Philadelphia, PA (WPVI, ABC, Brian Taff); Hampton Roads, VA (WAVY, NBC, Tom Schaad); Denver, CO (KUSA, NBC, Adele Arakawa); Minneapolis, Minn (WCCO, CBS, Amelia Santaniello); Houston, TX (KTRK, ABC, Dave Ward); Portland, OR (KGW, NBC, Tracy Barr); Omaha, NEB (KETV, ABC, Rob McCartney); Tampa, FLA (WTVT, Fox, Jeffrey Cambell); and Phoenix, AZ (KSAZ, Fox, John Hook).
Nikole Killion, representing Hearst Television, Inc., will also participate. Hearst owns 29 TV stations across the US.
*Photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama