Network Morning Shows Fawn Over Obama Vacation Photos

Barack Obama, NBC The Tuesday morning shows of NBC, ABC, and CBS all promoted Barack Obama’s celebrity status as hosts and reporters ogled the latest paparazzi photo of Obama in swim trunks while on vacation in Hawaii, as NBC’s Matt Lauer declared on Today: "And fit to serve, Barack Obama photographed shirtless in Hawaii and a lot of women are giving him the presidential seal of approval."

On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host Diane Sawyer outlined Obama’s workout routine: "...these photos of the first abs, which we've all been analyzing this morning. I just want to reminder you, to get those abs, he does standing triceps push-downs, shoulder presses, sit-ups with a high platform, one set of triceps, and calf raises." Fellow co-host Chris Cuomo added: "The most important thing that he does to be fit, is his diet. He's very careful about his diet. He's in good shape, certainly for a man his age. But I think it's how he eats."

On the CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith proclaimed: "Obama in Oahu. Why he’s getting a lot of attention." Smith later referenced a newspaper cover with the shirtless picture of Obama: "This picture is in a lot of papers around the country...‘Fit For Office.’" Meanwhile, fill-in co-host Debbye Turner Bell held up the paper declaring: "Take a look at this. I'll be happy to pick this up!"

While all three shows were eager to show the photos of the president-elect, all were concerned with his privacy at the same time. On NBC’s Today, correspondent Samantha Guthrie explained: "Secluded behind a tight Secret Service barrier, glimpses of Obama in vacation mode are rare. Not surprisingly, he draws a crowd on any venture out, like after his daily workout Monday."

On ABC’s GMA, Cuomo went so far as to ask: "You will be seeing this picture a lot. However, they are not enjoying it in private. This morning, many are wondering how did a photographer get these pictures? He got within 200 feet of the incoming president, apparently without any action by Secret Service. So what was going on?"

Finally, on the CBS Early Show, correspondent Ben Tracy described how: "Paparazzi on the beach are being watched themselves by Secret Service but they did manage to get a shot of the president-elect in his least formal wear...The Obamas chose this location in part because the house is located at the very end of this secluded beach. Unlike the tourist-filled Waikiki beach a half hour away."

Only NBC’s Today brought up the expense of the vacation, as Lauer asked NBC political director Chuck Todd: "Hey, let me touch briefly on this vacation for the Obama family...I've read some comments in the last day or two, some pretty snarky, about this home they're renting. Is this a big deal? I mean, they don't have a ranch, they don't have Hyannisport or Newport from the Camelot days. They're renting a home. Is it a big deal?" Todd dismissed it as an issue: "Well, don't forget Kennebunkport or the Reagan Santa Barbara ranch, no I don't think it's that big a deal in this sense, this is where they've gone every year...it's not like they picked this out of a hat or they said, you know, ‘let's go to the chi-chiest place we could find somewhere in the United States.’"

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC