White House: Cronkite dead, Galifianakis will do

President’s Obamacare pitch on Web show defended

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President Obama pitched his health care reform law on actor Zack Galifianakis‘ Internet parody interview show because broadcast news and newspapers no longer dominate the media landscape, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.

The president’s at times absurdist interview on Mr. Galifianakis‘ “Between Two Ferns” Web program was filmed two weeks ago and released Tuesday morning. The six-minute clip is intended to draw more young people to HealthCare.gov before the March 31 application deadline for coverage, Mr. Carney said.

“Gone are the days when your broadcast, or yours, or yours, can reach everybody that we need to reach,” Mr. Carney said, pointing to TV reporters at Tuesday’s press briefing. “We’re constantly looking at different ways to reach Americans who don’t necessarily get information about HealthCare.gov from evening news broadcasts or from the newspaper but who might either watch the town hall we did last week with Spanish-language networks, or watch ‘Funny or Die.’”

Mr. Galifianakis‘ program, in which the president fielded questions on pardoning turkeys, a possible third term, whether Dennis Rodman was his ambassador to “North Ikea,” and the whereabouts of his birth certificate before getting in a pitch for Obamacare, is posted on the site funnyordie.com.

The interview largely as ad-libbed, Mr. Carney said. He rejected assertions that the dignity of the presidency was harmed in the process.

President Obama appears on 'Between Two Ferns' with comedic actor Zach Galifianakis.

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President Obama appears on ‘Between Two Ferns’ with comedic actor Zach Galifianakis. more >
“We obviously assess opportunities we have and look at whether they’re going to be successful and wise. I think we made the right call here,” Mr. Carney said.

 

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