Ex-ESPN Host Spills: Executives Carefully Scripted Her Questions to Biden, 'No Deviation!'

April 4th, 2024 10:26 AM

Joseph Wulfsohn at Fox News has a new report that underlines once again how interviews with President Biden are very, very scripted and structured to make it easy for him. Former ESPN anchor Sage Steele told Wulfsohn the top ESPN executives crawled all over the particulars of the questions to Biden.

“This was about two months after he took office,” she said. “That was an interesting experience in its own right because it was so structured. And I was told, ‘You will say every word that we write out, you will not deviate from the script and go!’"

Clearly, Biden couldn’t be surprised with anything improvised. They said "To the word. Like Every single question was scripted, gone over dozens of times by many executives,  editors and executives, absolutely. I was on script and was told not to deviate. it was very much ‘This is what you will ask. This is how you will say it. No follow-ups, no follow-ups. Next!"

She said, "I knew this was a lot bigger that just the wonderful editors I worked with. This went up to the fourth floor, as we said, where all the bosses, the top executives, the decision-makers are, the president of our company, the CEO, where they all worked."

Wulfsohn said most of the ESPN-scripted questions pertained to sports leagues returning to normalcy after the Covid pandemic, but the interview made headlines at the time when Biden supported the MLB's All-Star game boycott of Atlanta following the passage of Georgia's election-integrity law.

He added that Steele said her interview with Biden was "heartbreaking," referring to his mental acuity. 

"I think it's really heartbreaking that the people who love Joe Biden and say they truly care about him have allowed it to get to this point," Steele said. "So I'm not even looking at this from a political angle or my beliefs in anything. This is the human side of it. And when someone is struggling, we allow them to continue to be in the spotlight and put them out there in the first place when they knew there were issues? Of course, they had to know. So it's a humanity thing with me where I don't care where anyone stands and what they vote for or who they believe in. Do you really care about that person? As a father, as a husband, as an everything."

"It was satellite, it wasn't in person. We're having a technical issue. And so I had to, like, BS. I had to chitchat waiting for us to start rolling," Steele said. "Well, what he started to do, of course he has someone next to him and they keep a black, like, curtain over the lens of the camera, so you can't see him until the last second, but you can hear and we're chitchatting… So I can hear him and he goes, ‘What is this for?’… And he's, like, ‘Who am I talking to? Wait—what's her name?'"

"I was going, ‘Oh, my God!'" Steele exclaimed. "And then he said, ‘SportsCenter. ESPN.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, ok.’ And so I said, you know, what do you say? ‘Hi, Mr. President. Nice to meet you.’ And so I'm trying just to fill time. And he said, ‘You know, I used to play football'… And so he started to tell football stories of his greatness. And again, I can't see him. You can see the curtain… He goes, ‘And I have the best hands.’ What do you say to that?"

She later continued, "And then I said, ‘Oh, so you were a receiver.’ And he started to explain it. And here's the saddest thing — his voice just trailed off. He said, ‘I was good,’ and then he went silent, and he goes, ‘Uhh… never mind.’"

Steele was attacked in 2021 for mocking biracial Barack Obama, which caused then-MSNBC host Tiffany Cross to accuse her of sounding like a "modern-day minstrel show" for white people.