CBS Evening News Heaps Praise on ‘Terrific Interview’ of Obamas by Personal Friend Gayle King

Monday’s CBS Evening News continued to bask in the supposed glory of CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King’s pre-Super Bowl interview with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with additional excerpts and anchor Scott Pelley gushing over the “terrific interview.”

Of course, CBS continued to make no mention of King’s connections to the Obamas as both a personal friend and donor to Obama’s candidacy (as my colleague Scott Whitlock thoroughly chronicled in a post). 

With the on-screen headline “reflecting on the presidency,” Pelley explained that King asked the President about current events like North Korea but also “how Mr. Obama has changed after years of challenges such as North Korea and Syria.”

The scene cut to King and Obama in the Oval Office with King lobbing this open-ended softball: “I'm curious about how the presidency has changed you as a President, it's now eight years in. How you've changed as a President and how you've changed as a man during the time you've been in office.”

The President went on a classically long-winded answer emphasizing that “my basic character is unchanged” but has gained “some hard-won wisdom from overcoming challenges, figuring out really hard problems.”

Pelley returned following the rest of the President’s answer with King seated next to him and he remarked that: “I can't remember ever seeing the President and First Lady do a joint interview on live television.”

King seized on this leading question by gushing that Pelley “can't remember”  since “it's never happened and it's first time they ever sat together live.” She then continued by hyping how she “was so flattered and so honored” to speak with the First Couple:

But you know what I was thinking. It was the first time I ever interviewed a President and First Lady together live too so we were all in the same boat, but I was so flattered and so honored they allowed us to come into the White House, invade their Super Bowl Sunday to take the time to sit down and talk to us.

Pelley wrapped up the segment by teasing how more portions of the interview (if those that have aired weren’t enough) on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning plus thanking King for a “terrific interview.”

The transcript of the segment from the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley on February 8 can be found below.

CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley
February 8, 2016
6:40 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Reflecting on the Presidency]

SCOTT PELLEY: In that interview with the President, Gayle King also wanted to know how Mr. Obama has changed after years of challenges such as North Korea and Syria. 

KING: I'm curious about how the presidency has changed you as a President, it's now eight years in. How you've changed as a President and how you've changed as a man during the time you've been in office. 

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You know, I think I’m — my basic character is unchanged and Michelle and close friends of mine who have known me for years would say he's the same guy. There's obviously some hard-won wisdom from overcoming challenges, figuring out really hard problems. I told somebody in another interview, though, that probably the most important thing, and maybe this is just a function of age as well as having been around the track a while as President is you lose that fear. You lose that sense of, oh, what if something goes wrong, because there are going to be things that go wrong. 

KING: There can be things that go wrong, yeah.

OBAMA: You lose that tightness that comes from being very self-conscious about not making mistakes. At a certain point, you know, you realize, look, you do your best, you make your call, you make your decision. Most of the time, it's going to work, but it's not going to work perfectly. You're going to have to continue to make adjustments and that gives you a certain confidence that allows do you play a little bit better. 

PELLEY: The President with Gayle King in the Oval Office. Gayle, I can't remember ever seeing the President and First Lady do a joint interview on live television. 

KING: You know why you can't remember, Scott? Cause it's never happened and it's first time they ever sat together live, but you know what I was thinking. It was the first time I ever interviewed a President and First Lady together live too so we were all in the same boat, but I was so flattered and so honored they allowed us to come into the White House, invade their Super Bowl Sunday to take the time to sit down and talk to us.

PELLEY: Terrific interview. Gayle King of CBS This Morning. Thanks for being with us. 

KING: Thank you.

KING: You can see much more of Gayle's interview with the President and the First Lady. That's tomorrow on CBS This Morning

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center