Poor Barack Obama.
Just hours before he’s sworn in as America’s 44th commander-in-chief, another controversy comes along to taint his big day.
As The Washington Post reported Saturday, Obama is being criticized for selling exclusive TV rights to his inaugural events – for more than $5 million.
The deals cut by the incoming administration include $2.5 million from HBO to air last night’s all-star concert, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé, at the Lincoln Memorial – which was attended by the president-elect, and vice president-elect Joe Biden.
So if you haven’t got HBO, you were out of luck.
Separately, Walt Disney Co. paid $2 million for two specials that will air, respectively, on its Disney Channel and ABC net:
Tonight’s children’s concert at Verizon Center, hosted by soon-to-be First Lady Michelle Obama and Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, and featuring Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers; and the “Neighborhood Inaugural Ball” tomorrow, at which Obama is expected to make his first official speech of the evening – and have his first dance with his wife as First Couple.
“These are public events taking place on public property. The Mall is not owned by the Inaugural Committee or this administration or any television network. It belongs to…all 308 million of us. So how can decide you have exclusive rights to something that takes place on the National Mall!” Tucker Carlson tells BlogTalkRadio’s Morning Media Menu today.
“There’s a principle at stake. You could make money – I don’t know – why don’t we name The White House?” adds the former CNN and MSNBC anchor.
“We could call it ‘The Staples House’ or ‘The Home Depot House!’”
To hear Tucker’s full interview on Morning Media Menu, click here.
For more on the TV-rights controversy, click here to read The Washington Post story.