Bush to chat with Brit

President gives first interview since midterm elections

President George W. Bush will try to get his message out tonight, giving his first interview since the midterm elections to Fox News Channel’s Brit Hume.

The interview, scheduled to be taped today, will air at 6 p.m. on “Special Report With Brit Hume.”

It’s the second time the Administration has turned to Fox in a time of trouble. Vice President Dick Cheney visited with Hume exclusively after his hunting accident.

While the president spent most of last week in Europe and the Middle East, the tenor of his media coverage in the U.S. shifted. NBC News and several other news organizations began referring to the situation in Iraq as a “civil war,” a characterization the administration has long resisted.

The president is facing growing calls to change his approach in Iraq, even from the architect of that policy. Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued for “a major adjustment” in tactics in a memo submitted two days before his resignation. The memo and the shifting strategy in Iraq were the hot topics on the Sunday morning news shows, with National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley appearing on the ABC, CBS and NBC morning telecasts to discuss its ramifications.

The Iraq Study Group will also release its recommendations this week, including advocating direct talks with Syria and Iran, an approach the president has opposed.

Fox News Channel has the biggest audience in cable news, and though that’s a much smaller aud than the broadcast networks, the administration sees it as an important outlet in speaking to its base of support.

If past exclusive interviews are any indication, Fox will use clips from the interview to promote the segment throughout the day.