On the same day that the latest report on the terrorist attack in Benghazi was released, the journalists at Good Morning America chose to obsess over an "exclusive first look" at People magazine's "revealing" interview with Michelle Obama. Focusing on the scoop, lifestyle anchor Lara Spencer on Wednesday gushed, "So honest on a range of topics, including her take on plastic surgery and Botox. We have an exclusive first look right here." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Regarding the First Lady's 50th birthday, Spencer could hardly contain herself. She announced, "The big day is fast approaching." The host insisted that the President has "already given an early gift" by "taking the girls home to Washington, leaving the First Lady behind for an extra few days of vacay [sic] with some of her close friends, including Oprah." As with GMA's last report on the vacation, there was no mention of what the extended trip will cost taxpayers.
Since Mr. Obama and the First Lady took separate planes, that means a second flight back at taxpayer expense and the cost of Mrs. Obama's security detail. A vacation back in June of 2013 was estimated to cost between $60 and $100 million.
In contrast, Laua Bush's 60th birthday on October 4, 2006 warranted a mere mention by GMA's Ron Claiborne. He noted, "First Lady Laura Bush is also on the campaign trail on this her 60th birthday."
CBS This Morning on Monday touted the First Lady's 2013 inaugural dress as a "fashion milestone."
The Washington Post on Wednesday hailed Mrs. Obama as a "first lady for the ages."
A transcript of the January 15 segment, which aired at 7:16am ET, is below:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now we have that interview from the first lady.
LARA SPENCER: Yeah, very talkative. It's a very revealing People magazine interview with First Lady Michelle Obama just before her 50th birthday. So honest on a range of topics, including her take on plastic surgery and Botox. We have an exclusive first look right here. The big day is fast approaching. This Friday marks Michelle Obama's 50th birthday. We're told the President is planning a party on Saturday to mark the momentous occasion although details are hard to come by. The elegant First Lady sat down with People magazine for an exclusive interview to talk about how she feels about the big milestone, saying she is more self-assured now. "Each decade brings a greater self-of calm and certainty and maturity and confidence." She also says she isn't ruling out a little enhancements like Botox in the future saying, "women should have the freedom to do whatever they need to do to feel good about themselves." And the First Lady revealed she's changed her workout routine to less weights and more yoga and other exercises to keep her flexible.
SANDRA SOBIERAJ WESTFALL (Correspondent, People magazine): She said she really wanted to use this milestone and the spotlight on her during it to help other women to promote, you know, the kinds of things she's doing with her own health care.
SPENCER: An occasion to help others and an occasion to celebrate we're told in a casual way.
WESTFALL: The guests were told to wear comfortable shoes. That it's all about dancing and having a good time.
SPENCER: The President hasn't given Mrs. Obama any details on the birthday bash, only that the guests were told to eat before they come. She did, however, share an important birthday wish.
WESTFALL: She said, "if there's planning going on, I don't know about it. My one wish is to be with the people that I love."
SPENCER: One thing we know for sure is that the President has already given an early gift while on the annual family vacation in Hawaii, taking the girls home to Washington, leaving the First Lady behind for an extra few days of vacay with some of her close friends, including Oprah. She looks so fantastic. And just to be clear Mrs. Obama says she doesn't imagine having plastic surgery but she's learned never say never.
ROBIN ROBERTS: There will be dancing in the White House this weekend.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I love that – I love that eat before you come. Carbo load before the dancing.
SPENCER: It's going to be a good time!
ROBERTS: That's the truth.