Update at bottom: MSNBC turns off Obama after he says turn TV off; FOX cuts off for 3rd time
For the second time in less than a week, Fox News on Tuesday cut away from a live broadcast of a presidential address to air comments from a critic of President Obama.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, the president laid out his argument that health care reform would actually save the government money in the long term by reducing health care costs.
"Well there you have it, a rather long answer to a question about health care from a recovering cancer patient," said Fox News host Megyn Kelley, before introducing Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News contributor and critic of the president's health care reform agenda.
Fox took some criticism from left-wing bloggers when it cut off the president's question-and-answer session with House GOP members at a retreat last Friday.
During the wide-ranging debate that even some conservative commentators admitted the president won, Fox "cut away mid-broadcast and went to a newsless interview with Rep. Peter King (R-NY)," as the Washington Independent's David Weigel put it.
Raw Story's analysis of TV news coverage of Obama's town hall meeting found that only CNN aired the entire meeting, one hour and 15 minutes. By comparison, MSNBC broadcast 55 minutes of the event and Fox News broadcast 40 minutes, or about half.
MSNBC turns off Obama after he says turn TV off; FOX cuts off for 3rd time
On Wednesday, Fox News cut away from a question and answer session between Obama and the Senate Democratic Caucus after only two minutes. None of the Senators' questions were aired.
"Score one for consistency," Huffington Post's Jason Linkins mocks.
Meanwhile, if Fox News couldn't be bothered to televise the session, this week's awkward cable news cut-away goes to MSNBC, which briefly ceased its live coverage of the Q&A after Obama urged the Senate Democratic Caucus to stop paying attention to them
"President Obama encouraging all the lawmakers in that room, all the senators, to turn us off," MSNBC's David Shuster said. "Don't pay attention to the echo chamber. We're going to use our authority to be able to essentially turn off the president's feed for now."
Linkins notes, "Don't worry! They went back to the Q&A as soon as they deemed it 'interesting!'"
This video is from Fox News' America Live, broadcast Feb. 2, 2010.
Shuster uses his 'authority' to cut off Obama
This video is from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast Feb. 3, 2010.