National “Public” Radio has turned down an interview with the President, Howard Kurtz reports for the Washington Post :
The White House reached out to National Public Radio over the weekend, offering analyst Juan Williams a presidential interview to mark yesterday’s 50th anniversary of school desegregation in Little Rock.
But NPR turned down the interview, and Williams’s talk with Bush wound up in a very different media venue: Fox News.
Williams said yesterday he was “stunned” by NPR’s decision. “It makes no sense to me. President Bush has never given an interview in which he focused on race. . . . I was stunned by the decision to turn their backs on him and to turn their backs on me.”
Ellen Weiss, NPR’s vice president for news, said she “felt strongly” that “the White House shouldn’t be selecting the person.” She said NPR told Bush’s press secretary, Dana Perino, that “we’re grateful for the opportunity to talk to the president but we wanted to determine who did the interview.” When the White House said the offer could not be transferred to one of NPR’s program hosts, Weiss took a pass.
Read the entire story at the link above. I could understand the objection if Williams were some shill, but he is a liberal and no fan of the Bush Administration.