Obama has time for an NBA interview with TNT?? (And STILL no press conference?)

Obama gave an interview with TNT’s Marv Albert, with a sneal peak airing Sunday and the full interview on Tuesday. Is this what our president should be doing–talking about the future of LeBron James? Is there nothing else for our president to do, no other press to interview with?

From NBA.com:

TNT’s Albert interviews President Obama at White House
By Official Release, Turner Sports
Posted May 22 2010 11:37AM

TNT play-by-play announcer and Basketball Hall of Fame broadcaster Marv Albert conducted an exclusive interview on the basketball court at the White House with President Barack Obama today to discuss basketball, politics and other topics. The interview will air on Tuesday, May 25, during NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com, the network’s pre-game show beginning at 8 p.m. ET, prior to TNT’s exclusive coverage of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers at 9 p.m. ET.

A sneak peek of the interview will air on NBA TV and NBA.com beginning on Sunday, May 23, and will appear that evening during TNT’s exclusive coverage of Game 3 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and Suns at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The President shared his thoughts with Albert on his history and love of basketball, the future of LeBron James and the Phoenix Suns stand against the immigration law in Arizona, among other topics.

“We are very appreciative the President of the United States took time during the NBA’s Conference Finals to sit with Marv to discuss a variety of topics that relate to basketball, as well as national issues that have recently crossed into the sports landscape,” said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Candidate Barack Obama did give an interview with the Fox Business Network in June 2008.. How about President Obama giving an interview with the Fox Business Network right now, on, let’s see. the 2,000+-page financial reform bill? That’s gotta be more important than LeBron James.

Remember this exchange, when President Obama signed the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act–and then refused to speak with the press:

(The bill is signed.)

There you go. Thank you, everybody. Appreciate it.

Q Speaking of press freedom, could you answer a couple of questions on BP?

THE PRESIDENT: You’re certainly free to ask them, Chip.

Q Will you answer them? How about a question on Iran?

THE PRESIDENT: We won’t be answering — I’m not doing a press conference today, but we’ll be seeing you guys during the course of this week. Okay?

Yes, there was a “press conference” with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Who can forget it? From The Hill:

Obama shuns English-language news outlets at press conference
By Sam Youngman – 05/19/10 03:18 PM ET

President Barack Obama did not call on any English-language news outlets at his Wednesday press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, possibily to avoid any questions on Tuesday’s primary elections.

In the White House Rose Garden, the president said he and Calderon had time to take one question from each side.

Obama stunned White House reporters when, instead of calling on the Associated Press or one of the broadcast television networks, he called on a reporter from Univision, who asked about the Arizona immigration law.
Obama has not held a formal press conference with the White House press corps in months

Even the odious Media Matters is noticing:

Pressure Mounting for Obama Press Conference
May 21, 2010 5:00 pm ET by Joe Strupp

The push began Monday when President Obama signed the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, which requires the state department to undertake better scrutiny of foreign media freedoms. During the signing ceremony, Obama declined to take questions on other topics from the assembled press.

Later in the week, he appeared again with Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Wednesday and took only one question.
Since then, others have weighed in on Obama’s lack of a full press event in months.

Chris Weigant at Huffington Post opined Thursday that it has been too long since an Obama press event, noting he had not had a regular press conference since July.
Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune said in a compilation of other postings: “It’s well past time for Obama to meet the press.”

This really does not make sense. Obama can handle the press with the best of them. It is surprising that more in the press corps are not clamoring for some open press conference time.

Here’s a golden oldie from Fox News:

Updated January 11, 2010
Obama Going on Six Months Without a Press Conference

Here’s a golden oldie from The Huffington Post:

Chris Weigant
Posted: February 1, 2010 06:29 PM
Obama Should Hold Press Conference Soon

From Friday’s Weasel Zippers blog:

Fun Fact of the Day: Obama Hasn’t Had a Press Conference Since July 22, 2009
Posted by ZIP on Friday, May 21, 2010, at 12:25 PM

I’m not saying that basketball is not important. Of course it’s important. If Obama didn’t list his NCAA men’s and women’s basketball picks, this would have been a much poorer nation.

LeBron James needs to find an employer and our president is concerned.

What would you rather discuss:

. the gulf oil spill or LeBron James?
. the crisis in Korea or LeBron James?
. the Greek financial meltdown and the trillion-dollar bailout or LeBron James?
. the pitifully weak sanctions against Iran building a nuclear weapon or LeBron James?
. the coming war to annihilate Israel or LeBron James?
. the May 6th financial “flash crash” or Lebron James?
. the new financial regulations or LeBron James?
. the “American Power Act” (cap & trade) or LeBron James?
. the Supreme Court nominee or LeBron James?

Thank goodness that the world will have Marv Albert to ask probing basketball questions to the leader of the free world. I can rest easy.

Who needs a press conference?