Donny Deutsch on NBC: People Only Focused on Obama Scandals Because They're 'Bored'

On Wednesday's NBC Today, regular panelist Donny Deutsch downplayed the scandals embroiling the Obama administration as merely the result of the public not having anything else to focus on: "I think in this media age we spend so many year – four years, night and day staring at these candidates, that after a while we get a little bored and turned off. And really the only story to report going forward is what I'll call that kind of slippery slope." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Co-host Matt Lauer called out Deutsch's dismissive tone: "I think you're making a little light of some of these stories. Some of these are pretty important, big stories." At the end of the discussion, Deutsch doubled down: "I think this is a function of, as I said again, of we are gonna over-magnify versus diminish anything that happens for any second term president."

Lauer prompted the exchange by wondering about the fallout of the scandal trifecta:

Let's start with what some people are calling the Obama second term blues. A lot of things in the headlines right now that the President doesn't want to be in the headlines: Benghazi, the IRS, the phone records from the AP. Is there a common thread between any of these things? It doesn't appear that there is. What do you think?

Attorney Star Jones fretted over the impact on Obama's second term agenda: "Perception becomes reality and really the President has to take back control of his agenda. If we are distracted by the IRS scandal, if we are distracted by the Benghazi scandal, the clock is ticking backwards on his second term...We're in lame-duck status if he doesn't move forward."


Here is a full transcript of the May 15 panel discussion:

8:09AM ET

MATT LAUER: We're back at 8:09 with Today's Professionals, here to tackle the morning's hot topics. Star Jones, Donny Deutsch, and in for Nancy this morning, HuffPost Live host Abby Huntsman. Good morning to all, nice to see you.

Let's start with what some people are calling the Obama second term blues. A lot of things in the headlines right now that the President doesn't want to be in the headlines: Benghazi, the IRS, the phone records from the AP. Is there a common thread between any of these things? It doesn't appear that there is. What do you think?

DONNY DEUTSCH: I think it's what we call in the advertising business, wear out. I think in this media age we spend so many year – four years, night and day staring at these candidates, that after a while we get a little bored and turned off. And really the only story to report going forward is what I'll call that kind of slippery slope. So I think historically going forward we're always going to see this-
 
LAUER: I think you're making a little light of some of these stories. Some of these are pretty important, big stories.

ABBY HUNTSMAN: I was going to say, the common theme here, what we're getting at is, I think, a lack of leadership at the end of the day. I mean Obama has always had this stay-above-the-fray style of politics. You know, this very lawyer-like approach. The problem is when you get behind public opinion, that's when it becomes very problematic. And I think that's what we're starting to see here, where he doesn't take control.

STAR JONES: Perception becomes reality and really the President has to take back control of his agenda. If we are distracted by the IRS scandal, if we are distracted by the Benghazi scandal, the clock is ticking backwards on his second term. And-

LAUER: How long does he have?

JONES: We're in lame-duck status if he doesn't move forward.

DEUTSCH: I think this is a function of, as I said again, of we are gonna over-magnify versus diminish anything that happens for any second term president.

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