ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox all broke into their programming today to cover the commander-in-chief’s speech at 10:50 PT this morning. All of the cable news outlets covered the speech as well. CBS and NBC were carrying pricey live sports programming — tennis’ U.S. Open and English Premier League soccer, respectively. (NBC also cut in from 10:27-10:35 as it waited for the president, who was scheduled to begin at 10:15). ABC had the educational program India: A Royal Life. Fox, which did not air yesterday’s Obama statement from the Cabinet Room, cut into its Portable Cooktop infomercial. Fox’s coverage also continued after the speech.
President Obama announced that he has decided to take military action against Syria in the wake of that country’s chemical weapons attack on civilians last week. But he also said he doesn’t believe the action is time sensitive, so the issue could continue to play out over the next several weeks. “We are prepared to strike whenever we choose,” Obama said. He also said he will go to Congress to seek authorization for the strike.
“[Syria's] attack is an assault on human dignity,” Obama said. “It also presents a serious danger to our national security.” He did not take questions after the 10-minute speech — which was delayed by about 35 minutes from its announced start time — though one reporter shouted out, “Will you forgo a strike if Congress disapproves?”