Former Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials sometimes let it be known that they stuck with Fox News for their informational needs. And on Tuesday, Fox News returned the favor, even as the rest of Washington remained gripped by Obama fever.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Fox News was the only major national TV outlet that carried a live telecast of former President Bush’s homecoming speech to cheering supporters in Midland, Texas.
“Sometimes what I did wasn’t popular,” a smiling Bush told the crowd. “But that’s OK. I always did what I thought was right.”
Former President George Bush, left, accompanied by his wife Laura Bush stands by as addresses attendees at his arrival in Waco, Texas, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
The rest of the networks, however, did not see the Bush address as news fit to broadcast. At 6:40 p.m. EST, MSNBC was in the middle of “Hardball,” with host Chris Matthews and guests batting around the meaning of Obama’s swearing-in. CNN was carrying live ongoing coverage of the final moments of the inaugural parade, with the Obamas beaming from the White House reviewing stand.
The broadcast networks likewise did not cover the Bush speech. At least in Los Angeles, both KCBS-Channel 2 and KNBC-Channel 4 had returned to regular syndicated programming (“Judge Judy” and “Deal or No Deal”). KABC-Channel 7 was airing local news.
Los Angeles Times
From The Dallas Morning News
MIDLAND — George W. Bush returned Tuesday to a West Texas welcome, declaring himself happy to be back as a private citizen after eight rocky and eventful years as president.
“I’m coming home with my head held high and a sense of accomplishment,” he told a crowd of several thousand that jammed Centennial Plaza.
“Even among the most difficult days of my presidency, I was always optimistic about the future.”
Bush leaves office among the most unpopular presidents in history. But here in his staunchly Republican boyhood hometown, a sea well-wishers turned out to cheer his return.
The rally marked a bookend of his pre- and post-presidency. Eight years ago, he attended a final sendoff from the same town square before leaving the state for his own inauguration.