After a Wednesday New York Times story gushed over the "indelible image" of a boy touching President Obama's hair in 2009, Friday's NBC Today dutifully promoted the pro-Obama fluff as co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: "...that photograph has gone viral online....the boy asked President Obama if he had hair just like his own. The President said yes, then bent over and invited the then-5-year-old boy to see for himself saying, quote, 'Touch it, dude.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie's report prompted laughter throughout the morning show studio. She then turned to her fellow co-hosts and warned: "But don't you all ever try that next time you meet the President." Matt Lauer joked about his own lack of hair: "If I did that, the kid could see himself, like in a mirror."
Guthrie noted that the Times article supposedly "told the back story of a picture," providing thin justification for recycling the three-year-old photo.
On Thursday, Yahoo News similarly seized on the story, proclaiming: "The story behind a photograph showing a 5-year-old black boy touching President Obama's hair may be coming to your inbox soon....it's quickly become the most-emailed article on the Times' website."
Here is a full transcript of the May 25 exchange on Today:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And finally, after the New York Times this week told the back story of a picture of President Obama, that photograph has gone viral online. The picture, of the President and a boy named Jacob, was snapped three years ago. And according to the article, the boy asked President Obama if he had hair just like his own. The President said yes, then bent over and invited the then-5-year-old boy to see for himself saying, quote, "Touch it, dude."
It's now 7:17. Back to Matt, Ann and Al. But don't you all ever try that next time you meet the President.
ANN CURRY: No.
MATT LAUER: If I did that, the kid could see himself, like in a mirror.
LAUER [TO AL ROKER]: You, too.
CURRY: Oh, you two. You're so funny.
LAUER: Thanks, Savannah.
AL ROKER: Give the kid sun glasses.
LAUER: Whoa! Turn off the lights, dad.