When Nickelodeon airs its Nick’s Kids Pick the President election special next month, viewers won’t hear directly from President Bush.
B&C has learned Bush nixed offers to appear in the Nick News special, executive-produced by Linda Ellerbee. (Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic challenger, is trying to schedule an appearance.)
According to Ellerbee, the Bush campaign said, “He is the president, he is too busy,” a response, she calls, “rather dismissive of the children of America.”
Back in 2000, however, Bush did go on a similar Nick special, along with former Vice President Al Gore, to field pretaped queries from kids nationwide. Ellerbee also produced Nick specials for the 1992 and 1996 elections in which former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton participated.
Ellerbee says Bush won’t be ignored. She and Nick will continue to press for an interview and her Lucky Duck Productions is buying video clips where the president speaks about issues worrying kids. After the show, Nick opens a phone line for kids to call in and vote.