Media Crisis: 'Has David Ortiz Ruined the Presidential Selfie for the Rest of Us?'

On Monday morning, NBC, ABC, and CBS all found an excuse to cover Obama's selfie with Red Sox player David Ortiz one more time, expressing their collective fear that the White House may ban selfies with the commander-in-chief. On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted: "Has David Ortiz ruined the presidential selfie for the rest of us?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

After the networks initially promoted the photo-op as a "good day in Washington" last week, they were chagrined when word came that Ortiz may have staged the supposedly spontaneous moment in order to promote cell phone maker Samsung, with whom he had an endorsement deal.

On Monday's Today, Guthrie declared that the White House was "cracking down" on selfies and "does not want to risk another publicity stunt."

This is the same White House that has recently done a string of "publicity stunts" to promote ObamaCare, stunts the media have happily touted.

On ABC's Good Morning America, news anchor Amy Robach melodramatically proclaimed that presidential selfies "will soon be outlawed." Moments later she whined: "Oh, no!...one bad apple spoils the bunch. I was waiting for my turn, apparently not."

CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King announced: "And the Washington Post says that the White House has drawn a red line on selfies."

All of the Monday coverage was base on a tongue-in-cheek comment made by White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday. After host Bob Schieffer asked about the controversial snapshot by Ortiz, Pfieffer said in jest: "...maybe this will be the end of all selfies."


Here are transcripts of the April 7 coverage on the morning shows:

Today
8:09 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Alright, we're back at 8:09 with What's Trending Today. These days, when a person meets the President, I think the first instinct is to not shake hands – no, it's to take a selfie. But has David Ortiz ruined the presidential selfie for the rest of us? I pose the question, because after the Red Sox slugger's photo with President Obama turned out to be staged, although doesn't he say it wasn't staged?

MATT LAUER: He says no, it was spontaneous.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: So Long Selfie!; White House Considers Ban on Presidential Selfies]

GUTHRIE: Okay, well, apparently the White House is cracking down anyway. A top aide says from here on out, all selfies with the President could be banned. The White House does not want to risk another publicity stunt. In fact, the administration was so irked by that photo, it complained to Samsung, expressing concerns and calling the product placement inappropriate.

LAUER: Okay.

NATALIE MORALES: I hope it's not the end of selfies with the President.

AL ROKER: I think they'll probably make it on case by case basis.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, I mean, because-

MORALES: As long as there's no product endorsement.

GUTHRIE: Well, right, and I think that most regular folks don't have those product endorsements. So it's probably safe to do a selfie with them.


Good Morning America
8:06 AM ET

AMY ROBACH: And finally, selfies with the President, we hear, will soon be outlawed because of this – Red Sox star David Ortiz posed for a selfie with President Obama during the team's visit to the White House last week.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: White House to Ban Selfies?; Reacts to Baseball Star's Marketing Stunt]

The problem is Ortiz had a marketing deal with the company that made his phone and his picture was actually a marketing stunt. Someone was even overheard saying "cha-ching." Well, that is not sitting well with the White House, which is now considering banning selfies with the President. Oh, no!

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Did somebody really say cha-ching? Wow.

ROBACH: Someone said cha-ching and one bad apple spoils the bunch. I was waiting for my turn, apparently not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Oh, well.

ROBACH: Oh, well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Next time.


CBS This Morning
8:32 AM ET

GAYLE KING: And the Washington Post says that the White House has drawn a red line on selfies. As we showed you last week, a photo of President Obama taken by Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was actually part of a Samsung promotion. On Face the Nation, White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer told Bob Schieffer that may be the last time we see this.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Did the President get caught here? Did he appreciate that?

DAN PFEIFFER: Well, he obviously didn't know anything about Samsung's connection to this and perhaps, maybe this will be the end of all selfies.

KING: Big Papi's selfie has been re-tweeted more than 42,000 times.

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