Networks Ignore Obama's Plug for ObamaCare on Ellen DeGeneres Show, But Loved His Interview with Galifianakis

While the networks swooned over President Obama's mock interview with comedian Zach Galifianakis, only ABC noted Obama's appearance on Thursday's Ellen DeGeneres Show where he plugged ObamaCare.

And ABC focused only on the shallow, touting Obama's exchange with DeGeneres over her "selfie" at the Oscars. Interestingly, they left out the President plugging his health care law. Neither NBC nor CBS even mentioned the interview after all three networks touted Obama's interview with Galifianakis where he pushed for ObamaCare.

Back on March 11, the day after the Galifianakis interview, NBC called it "really, really funny" and praised Obama's "comedy chops."  ABC said it was "incredible" and insisted "you got to check it out."

Both the morning and evening news casts covered the interview. Yet NBC and CBS were nowhere to be found Thursday when the President appeared with Ellen, and ABC ignored his push for young people to sign up for ObamaCare.

Below is a transcript of the segment:

3/20/14
[3:16 p.m. EST]

ELLEN DEGENERES: While I have you, I think it's only fair we should talk about ObamaCare, and that rhymed.

BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States: Well, we've got about two weeks left until March 31st for people to sign up. If you don't have health insurance right now, you should go on Healthcare gov. And especially all the moms out there who may have young people, 26, 27, don't have health insurance but think they're invincible and nothing's ever going to happen to them. What we've said is, you never know what life is going to throw at you. You can at this point get health insurance for a hundred dollars a month or less, in some cases less than your cellphone bill or your cable bill. And it gives you some financial security. It gives moms some mental security that their kids are going to have decent care. And particularly at this moment when a lot of young people, as they come out and they're getting their first or second jobs, they don't necessarily get a benefit on the job. Now is a time to take a look at it. But the website is now working, Healthcare.gov actually works the way it's supposed to. And I hope that people take advantage. Because if you don't sign up before March 31st, then you won't be able to sign up again until November. And I want to make sure that everybody has this opportunity now.

DEGENERES: It's doing very, very well. I think it's surprised – it had a rough start. But you've got five million people that have signed up so far. And it is an enormous amount of people that have signed up. So, it's successful. Why, why is there a deadline? Why is there not just an open-ended – because I think it is important for everyone to have health care. And a lot of people think, oh I will be fine, and like you said, you never know what's going to happen.

OBAMA: Anybody who has gotten health insurance on the job, you have this thing called an open enrollment period. Basically, the insurers, they're pricing for a year. Then they need to figure out how many people have signed up, what the risk pool looks like. How many elderly people are, how many healthy people, how many young people. And that's how they set prices for the following year. So they have to close the open enrollment period at the end of March 31st. They'll start back up so you can sign back up in 2015 in November. But if you don't have health insurance right now, now's the time to check it out. And as I said, people will be pleasantly surprised. I have got a lot of folks who write me letters saying I didn't vote for you, and I'm pretty skeptical about Obamacare. And I heard about all the problems on the website. But when I actually signed up, it turns out that I'm saving a hundred bucks, two hundred bucks, or I'm getting health insurance for the first time. And so all I'm encouraging everybody to do is take a look and see what options are right for you and your family. And moms out there, e-mail your kids if they don't have health insurance and tell them to at least check it out. Because they may be pleasantly surprised that it's much more affordable than people thought.

DEGENERES: Well, and people are starting to applaud here. I think everyone is very grateful that you did this. And I think it is important for people to sign up. And it's better to be covered.


 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014