Bush Declines BET Interview

Oct 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

President Bush has declined BET’s invitation to sit for a solo interview in a prime-time edition of “BET Nightly News,” the network said late Tuesday in an announcement that made clear the network is stung by the White House’s message that the president does not have time to speak directly to its audience before the Nov. 2 election.

Sen. John Kerry, who was issued a simultaneous invitation Sept. 14, was interviewed Oct. 7 on BET.

BET said founder and CEO Robert Johnson sent an open letter to top African Americans in the Bush Administration asking them to urge the President to reconsider. In the letter, Mr. Johnson said: “There is little doubt that African American voters have the power to decide the outcome of this election. Our invitations to President Bush and Senator Kerry were each candidate’s chance to show African Americans that their issues, opinions and their votes really matter. To decline this opportunity does not send a very positive signal to African Americans with just 14 days left before the election.”

Mr. Johnson sent the letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Education Rod Paige and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, as well as former Oklahoma Republican Congressman J. C. Watts, who is leading a grass-roots group of African American Republicans supporting the Bush re-election effort.