According to Sawyer, Bush administration turned down ABC town hall
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From the June 21 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:
KURTZ: It's an interesting sign of our media culture, Diane Sawyer, that this program is being attacked before a single minute has even aired.
But I'm wondering whether you think if some of the critics are, in effect, working the refs, hoping to create a climate where you and Charlie Gibson will feel compelled to somehow be tougher on the president.
SAWYER: I don't know whether they are or not, but our job is to have a serious conversation.
This is not theater. This is too important. And we have to bring the issues and the questions, the strongest questions we can.
And ABC has done town hall forums before. We did one on guns with Bill Clinton and then came back a year later and did another one. And they were extremely vital and robust debates about an important issue in the country.
And we had talked to the Bush administration, which didn't feel I think in many ways it was a forum they felt was best for them. But we also had, since Ted Koppel, felt that the town hall forum, bringing people in who are not on all of our Sunday shows and all of our cable shows all the time, on our morning shows and our evening shows all the time, bringing people in who can bring firsthand experience to bear sometimes creates the most effective and educational forum of all.
KURTZ: I didn't know that ABC had made the offer to the Bush White House.