'Today' Has No Time for Negative Obama, Edwards Stories, But Plenty for Bush's '1776'

As you'll see from the screencap, the cast of "Today" was really yukking it up this morning at George Bush's expense, recycling his "1776" gaffe on the occasion of the Queen's visit and updating the story with the Queen's retort. Between a show-opening tease and the subsequent smirk-a-thon, the show devoted no less than 1 min, 43 seconds of its opening 21-minute 7:00 AM half-hour to the matter.

But, at least during that crucial first half-hour, "Today" somehow couldn't find a second to report on either of two stories with negative implications for Dem presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards.

View video here.

Speaking in Virginia yesterday, Obama claimed that "ten thousand people died" in the Kansas tornado. He was only off by a factor of 1,000. Since we all know that Obama is brilliant, a Harvard law grad, why bother to pass along a story which doesn't fit the template?

As for Edwards, in an interview yesterday with the Associated Press, Mr. Two Americas claimed that "he worked for a hedge fund between presidential campaigns to learn about financial markets and their relationship to poverty." Not that there's anything wrong with working for the financial industry, but still, shades of the politician caught taking bribes who claims he was conducting his own undercover investigation of corruption. By the way, at least for the time being, anti-poverty warrior Edwards has refused to disclose how much the hedge fund, Fortress Investment Group, paid him.

Again, nary a word in the first half-hour, discouraging or otherwise, from "Today" about Edwards' extracurricular activities or his risible rationale.

But President Bush and "1776"? Send in the clowns! Vieira sardonically reminded us of President Bush's "little verbal slip," and replayed the clip. "Today" then rolled footage of the Queen's retort, made at yesterday's reception at the British embassy, when she asked the president whether she should begin her toast by saying "when I was here in 1776." Meredith, David Gregory and Al Roker then riffed off the episode, with Vieira suggesting that "they should go on the road -- to the Catskills!" You're killing me here, Meredith.

ASIDE: No mention of Edwards' hedge fund work during the first half-hour of "Good Morning America," but GMA did play a clip of Obama's 10,000-dead in Kansas mistake. During the first half-hour of CBS's "Early Show," no 1776 yuks but no Obama or Edwards stories, either.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.