Obama Donor Gayle King Acclaims Romney 'Binder' Remark: 'It's Going to Be the Joke That Keeps on Giving'

Gayle King's support of President Obama - both vocal and financial - emerged on air on Thursday's CBS This Morning, as the newscast covered Mitt Romney's much-ballyhooed "whole binders full of women" answer at Tuesday night's debate. King blustered, "I think it's going to be the joke that keeps on giving. I really do." [audio available here; video below the jump]

Correspondent Seth Doane hyped "Romney's now-infamous phrase", and spotlighted how "on Twitter, a conservative binder backlash unfolded." Strangely, Doane cited a Tweet from Obama-defending journalist Mark Halperin as an example of a "conservative."

In her introduction to the correspondent's report, anchor Norah O'Donnell trumpeted how "Romney's 'binders full of women' debate comment...is still going strong on the Internet, and also, on late night TV." After playing a clip of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel cracking a joke about the remark, Doane added, "That binder remark sure made for an easy target in late night."

Screen Cap of Mark Halperin Tweet From 18 October 2012 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgThe CBS journalist then used his "now-infamous phrase" labeling of the answer, and continued that "it was an albeit awkward excerpt of Romney's explanation about how, as Massachusetts governor, he went out of his way to hire women for his cabinet." Doane spent the bulk of the rest of the segment on detailing the Internet art, games and music videos spawned by the remark. He highlighted the "conservative binder backlash" on Twitter near its end, and besides the bizarre Halperin example, included a Tweet from a self-identified Republican.

O'Donnell and King, along with co-anchor Charlie Rose, then added their two cents after Doane's report. The former NBC correspondent cracked, "I would just like to point out that we also have our binders every morning, full of research papers." King then chimed in with her "joke that keeps on giving" contention. O'Donnell, who has made a point of spotlighting Romney's supposed negatives, continued by zeroing in on a claim from a recent Democratic conference call:

O'DONNELL: ...Whether it's fair or unfair - maybe Mitt Romney misspoke - they've then generated discussion about other things, which is the gap that was taking place in Massachusetts about women in senior positions, because that what this was about. And there was a group called Mass Gap that was formed in order to get more women in senior positions, and the head of that group was on a conference call, organized by the Democrats yesterday, that said Romney never requested binders full of women. They actually provided those binders on their own because they wanted more women in senior positions.

KING: Which would change the whole tone of that – of that whole discussion-

O'DONNELL: Absolutely-

Gayle King, CBS News Anchor | NewsBusters.orgCBS This Morning should just rename itself Obama Campaign Spin This Morning.

The full transcript of Seth Doane's report from Thursday's CBS This Morning, including the exchange between Charlie Rose, Gayle King, and Norah O'Donnell that followed:

CHARLE ROSE: President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney aggressively reaching out to women voters in critical battleground states. Both candidates hammered away Wednesday at issues important to women, such as fair pay and funding for Planned Parenthood. They also said they're looking forward to one last debate.

[CBS News Graphic: "Race For The White House: Candidates Looking Forward To Next Debate"]

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from campaign event): Now, as many of you know, we had our second debate last night. (audience cheers and applauds) And, you know, I'm still trying to figure out, you know, how to get the hang of this thing - debating. (audience laughs) But we're working on it. You know, we'll keep on improving as time goes on. I've got one left.

MITT ROMNEY, (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE (from campaign event): Now, I have to be honest with you. I love these debates. You know, these things are great. (audience cheers and applauds) And I think it's interesting that the President still doesn't have an agenda for a second term. Don't you think that it's time for him to finally put together a vision of what he'd do in the next four years if he were elected?  I mean, he's got to – he's got to come up with that over this weekend, because there's only one debate left on Monday.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Meanwhile, for two days now, we've been talking about Romney's 'binders full of women' debate comment. And, as Seth Doane reports, it is still going strong on the Internet, and also, on late night TV.


[CBS News Graphic: "Three Ring Circus: 'Binders' Battle Fuels Late Night, Social Media"]

JIMMY KIMMEL (from ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live"): But his policy toward women is clear: we have to alphabetize them. (audience laughs)

SETH DOANE (voice-over): That binder remark sure made for an easy target in late night.

STEPHEN COLBERT (from Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report"): Why are we talking about lady issues in the town hall, okay? Save it for the Sadie Hawkins debate, (audience laughs) when the girls are supposed to do the asking.

DOANE: Mitt Romney's now-infamous phrase came out of Tuesday's debate.

ROMNEY: I went to a number of women's groups and said, can you help us find folks? And they brought us whole binders full of women.

DOANE: It was an albeit awkward excerpt of Romney's explanation about how, as Massachusetts governor, he went out of his way to hire women for his cabinet. But in a supercharged world of social media, and yes, easy clip art programs, you got this: a virtual binder joke bonanza. In one, former President Clinton appeared with the words, 'did somebody say binders full of women?' Another featuring the secretary of state read, 'Nobody puts Hillary in a binder'. A song by Beyonce even inspired one that read, 'Better put three rings on it'.

The lowly binder, all of a sudden, got comments on Amazon.com, including, 'This product might be sufficient for smaller projects, but I was looking for a binder that could be made full of women.' And, as you might expect, companies tried to capitalize on this craze. One airline offered binders full of sales, noting, 'women will love them'.

On Twitter, a conservative binder backlash unfolded. Time magazine's Mark Halperin Tweeted, 'Dem attempts to make this binder thing into a deal is freak show.' Another Tweet read, 'Really? Binders. Arsenal must be running low.' (clip of video from YouTube.com)

Still, binder songs were uploaded to YouTube, and even an Internet game featured a binder-wielding Romney. Binders haven't been this popular since grade school. And that whole Big Bird thing-

BIG BIRD: It's me, Big Bird.

DOANE: Seems so two weeks ago. For 'CBS This Morning', Seth Doane, New York.

O'DONNELL (live): I would just like to point out that we also have our binders every morning, (laughs) full of research papers. Yeah.

GAYLE KING: No, it's – I think it's going to be the joke that keeps on giving. I really do.

O'DONNELL: Yeah-

KING: To be continued for sure.

O'DONNELL: But – can I say, one of these kinds of things – they happen, and whether it's fair or unfair, maybe Mitt Romney misspoke - they've then generated discussion about other things, which is the gap that was taking place in Massachusetts about women in senior positions, because that what this was about. And there was a group called Mass Gap that was formed in order to get more women in senior positions, and the head of that group was on a conference call, organized by the Democrats yesterday, that said Romney never requested binders full of women. They actually provided those binders on their own because they wanted more women in senior positions.

KING: Which would change the whole tone of that – of that whole discussion-

O'DONNELL: Absolutely-

KING: I thought it was interesting, though, that Jan [Crawford] just said he meant to say binders of resumes of women-

O'DONNELL: Right-

KINGL Which would also give a different context to it-

O'DONNELL: Absolutely-

KING: Do you have your binder, Mr. Rose?

ROSE: No. My point is smart men simply listen to smart women. (King laughs)

O'DONNELL: Charlie? (gives Rose a high-five) (laughs)

KING: Take notes, Mr. Rose. Take notes.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center