CNN's Obama Interview: LeBron, McCartney In; Sestak, Economy Out

CNN's Larry King completely left out the major topic of the White House's continuing obfuscation on the Sestak and Romanoff controversies and barely mentioned the economy during his interview of President Obama on Thursday. While King did ask extensively on the Gulf oil leak and touched on the Middle East and immigration, he also tossed softballs on LeBron James and the President singing with Paul McCartney. The CNN host aired his interview with the chief executive during the first half of the 9 pm Eastern hour. King spent the entire first two segments asking about the oil leak issue. Other than one question, where he asked whether the President had any responsibility for the disaster, the journalist asked softball questions (remember, CNN claimed just under two months ago in April that it was the only "non-partisan" cable network, and how King hounded Carrie Prejean during an interview in November 2009):

KING: I know you're going down to the Gulf again. But there's a question that a lot of us are pondering. After this is over, what about hurricanes? What about oil raining down? Have we thought about what we're going to do when it's over?

KING: This is worse than what you thought it would be?

KING: Have the scientists discussed, what about a hurricane?

KING: Senator Nelson wants the Defense Department, he says, more fully involved- more troops.

KING: So if he says troops, he'll get troops?

KING: What part of it is your baby? What part of it is the country and not BP?

KING: Some- I know you appear so calm. Are you angry at BP?

KING: Has the company felt your anger?

KING: Governor Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, he's asked you to- he's got concerns about the impact of stopping- of the moratorium you have on drilling. And now, that's been extended to the shallow waters, as well. What would you say to him?

KING: For the record, just before I sat down with the president, there was a report that the Minerals Management Service had stopped issuing permits for new oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, regardless of the water depth. Hence my question to the President. The Interior Department has since denied that it did extend the drilling freeze to include shallow waters.

During the third segment, King moved on to the current developments between Israel and her neighbors in the Middle East, and also asked one question about his recent meeting with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer over the illegal immigration issue.

KING: A couple of other things- former President Carter has condemned the Israeli raid against those ships in the flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza. Where do you stand on that? A former American president has condemned it. KING: It's premature, then, to condemn Israel?

KING: You met with the Arizona governor today. Will the administration bring a legal challenge to that law?

The CNN personality really broke out the softball questions during the final segment with Obama, asking about his poll numbers, about NBA star James's possible move to Chicago, and hosting McCartney at the White House. The President brought up the upcoming jobs report, and King only replied that "tomorrow [Friday] it will come out." So if it wasn't for the Democrat bringing up that economic figure, King would have skipped over the entire topic completely.

KING: A couple of other quick things, because I know we have a little bit of a time limit. First, do you still like this job?

KING: No matter what a poll says?

KING: It's 48 percent. Is that all right?

KING: And one other thing. LeBron James is with us tomorrow night. We pre-interviewed him. And he says, all things being equal, he's probably leaning toward Cleveland. That's where he grew up, in Akron. But he grew up a Bull fan. You want him to go to Chicago, right? What did you say? Clear it up.

KING: I saw you singing to 'Michelle' last night with Paul McCartney. That was a pretty nice kick, huh?

Despite the "little bit of a time limit," King had plenty of opportunities to ask about his administration's possible involvement in two political races in Colorado and Pennsylvania. One might guess basketball and pop music just matter more to the CNN veteran.

-Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.