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FLASHBACK: NETS DIDN'T CARRY REAGAN
February 3, 1988
President Ronald Reagan was cast in the role of a not-ready-for- primetime player yesterday, and the White House was not happy about it.
The three major networks declined to carry Reagan's Oval Office speech last night pushing his contra aid package, which the House is scheduled to vote on today. Cable News Network did carry the speech live.
ABC decided not to broadcast the speech "when it was determined that it would be a slight re-formation of the points he's made before, in his State of the Union address and other addresses," said ABC News spokeswoman Elise Adde. Spokesmen for NBC and CBS said that they have extensively covered the contra aid issue and didn't think the speech warranted coverage. Reagan's chief of staff, Howard H. Baker, said the networks' decision interferes with the "traditional right" of presidents to communicate with the American people.
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