NPR's Shameless Plug for Michelle Obama's 'Workout Mix'

Don’t think National Public Radio isn’t on the bandwagon of “state-run media” that run oozy profiles that make the Obamas more “friendly and personable” than the Republicans. On Thursday’s Morning Edition, NPR anchor Renee Montagne shared with the country the First Lady’s “Workout Mix” – since she’s the national fitness nanny.

The three songs recommended weren’t the story – some Beyonce, some Stevie Wonder, and for some reason Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair.” The story, based on an NPR interview in the White House garden,  was all about promoting her “Let’s Move” publicity campaign and how it’s amazing the First Lady finds time for fitness in her fabulous life:

MONTAGNE: The First Lady is the mover and shaker behind Let's Move, a campaign designed to get young people, especially, to eat better and exercise more. And when she took us on a tour recently of the White House Vegetable Garden, Michelle Obama shared with us the key to her workout routine.

MICHELLE OBAMA: I really mix it up - some weights, some kick boxing, lots of cardio. You know, I try to make it fun - do a little yoga. I really try to mix it up so that I don't get bored.

Then after some snippets of her "workout jams" came the puffery promoting the bubbly FLOTUS personality:

MONTAGNE: Okay, so variety [on the song list]  is key. But when you are first lady and really moving from country to country, squeezing in a workout can be tricky. Background briefings on world leaders, getting your gowns fitted and hair done, plus representing your nation at State Dinners that can really put a dent in an exercise routine.

MICHELLE OBAMA: You know, sometimes I'm not successful, which is why I try to work out as much as possible when I do have the time, so that that week or those few days when I miss something, it's not the end of the world. And I would encourage people: don't beat yourself up, because sometimes life happens and you just can't get it done. But when I'm on the road, I bring a jump rope. But, you know, you could do jumping jacks. You could, you know, do some sit-ups. Or just get out of your hotel room and do a walk - go down to the gym.

But for me, you know, I can't walk out of my hotel room and into the street as first lady, looking like I look when I first get up in the morning. (Laughs) So, sometimes I just like to jump in my room, all by myself.

This story was the last in a "Workout Mix" series on Morning Edition, which in April included IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.

This isn't the first time NPR's done this favor. NPR's evening newscast All Things Considered promoted a Beyonce appearance for Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign last May.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis