Broadcast Networks Break in to Cover Obama's Syria Statement

12:10 PM PST 08/31/2013 by THR Staff
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The President called for Congressional authorization on a limited airstrike.

On Saturday morning, the White House press secretary's office gave word that President Obama had scheduled a 1:15 pm ET statement. When the President arrived at the Rose Garden podium over a half hour later, broadcast networks broke in to cover the remarks made about Syria. 

CBS was carrying the early round portion of the U.S. Open Tennis championships while NBC was airing Barclays Premier League match of Crystal Palace vs. Sunderland. NBC News broke into its coverage twice during the 1 pm hour while awaiting President Obama's remarks. 

Cable news channels had been carrying coverage and discussion of Syria in anticipation of the remarks. 

The president called for Congressional authorization for a limited strike on Syria in retaliation for the Bashar al-Assad administration's alleged chemical weapons use. 

"Now, after careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets," Obama stated. "This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope. But I'm confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out."

As the president ended his remarks, an offscreen reporter asked if the president planned to pursue military action even if he was denied Congressional approval. The president did not take any questions. 

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