(NIGERIA MOMENT). Washington D.C. –
In an attempt to defend President-Elect Buhari for barring Africa Independent Television crew from covering a recent event, some Nigerians cited that President Obama did the same to Fox News. However, the fact of the matter is that Obama never barred Fox News from covering White House and he doesn’t even seem to have the right to do that even if he wanted to. In fact Fox News has a front row seat at the White House Press Room. See photo of seating arrangement.
Obama has given interviews to a few Fox News correspondents or reporters including Bill O’Reilly and Major Garrett.
Also, it must be noted that there is a difference between granting one-on-one interview and covering public event. Obama can never bar of any media from covering public event. There is a procedure which media organizations must follow to get accreditation to cover the president.
Obama and/or any other president may only refuse to be interviewed by any reporter or correspondent and that is his right. Every citizen has the same right. For example you may decide not to talk to someone just like the person may decide not to talk to you.
Any time Obama is giving a press conference he has to allow those sitting in the front row to ask including Fox News Correspondent or reporter to ask at least one question.
President Obama may not grant them interview to any news organization in his private residence at the White House and that is his right as a citizen. Every US citizen and/or resident has the right not grant interview/talk to anyone.
U.S. Constitution: Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
U.S. Constitution: Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.