NBC Adores 'First Soccer Mom' Michelle Obama at the Olympics
Only two minutes into Friday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Chris Jansing gushed over "sounds of unadulterated joy"at the opening of the 2012 Olympics and offered this bit of pro-Obama fluff: "From cheers for the torch making its way along the River Thames, to delighted children playing with First Soccer Mom Michelle Obama and superstar David Beckham."
Moments later, anchor Brian Williams continued the fawning: "It's the first time every nation has women athletes on the team. And for the first time on Team USA, the women outnumber the men, as they do in the work place and on college campuses in the U.S. So it's fitting the ranking ambassador from the U.S. is First Lady Michelle Obama..."
Williams applauded the First Lady "meeting with the leading women around here" and "telling the American athletes what watching the Olympics on television meant to her growing up in Chicago, especially for her dad, who had MS."
Earlier, on Friday's Today show, weatherman Al Roker was "thrilled" to conduct a live interview with Mrs. Obama and eagerly wondered: "Any possibility the President is going to come over to see?" After the First Lady said no, Roker followed: "Not even the basketball?"
In contrast to the glowing coverage for Mrs. Obama, NBC repeatedly roasted Mitt Romney on Friday. On Today, campaign correspondent Peter Alexander touted British tabloids labeling the Republican presidential candidate "Mitt the Twit" after he accurately described some of the security concerns surrounding the games in London. Alexander repeated his report later on the morning show and for Nightly News.
In a live interview with Mitt and Ann Romney, co-host Matt Lauer asked if the former governor was "proud" of the campaign he had run so far. Lauer then suggested Romney "raised more questions" with the amount of tax returns he released.
Here is a transcript of the July 27 Nightly News coverage of Michelle Obama:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: The games begin. The global event gets underway tonight here in London with the opening ceremony and the whole world is watching. Representing the U.S., First Lady Michelle Obama, who today talked about what the Olympics meant to her growing up.
CHRIS JANSING: And out on the streets of London today, the excitement was palpable. Big Ben rang in the big day in London. And from villages and cities, church towers and town halls, even as bells shattered from the excitement, there were sounds of unadulterated joy. From cheers for the torch making its way along the River Thames, to delighted children playing with First Soccer Mom Michelle Obama and superstar David Beckham.
WILLIAMS: And here's why you may be hearing of a strong women's theme at these games in the days to come. A couple of firsts at work here. It's the first time every nation has women athletes on the team. And for the first time on Team USA, the women outnumber the men, as they do in the work place and on college campuses in the U.S.
So it's fitting the ranking ambassador from the U.S. is First Lady Michelle Obama, here in London, as we said, leading the delegation and cheering them on. Meeting with the leading women around here, the Queen and Kate Middleton. And telling the American athletes what watching the Olympics on television meant to her growing up in Chicago, especially for her dad, who had MS.
MICHELLE OBAMA: My father wasn't able to walk without the assistance of crutches, but he retained his love of sports, truly, and the Olympics was a special time for him to watch amazing athletes of all abilities compete on the world stage. So these games especially affected our little house on the south side of Chicago. You know, every few years these games bring pride, excitement, and wonder to millions of people around the world. And that must mean so much to all of you being part of giving so many people that much hope.
WILLIAMS: The First Lady, who was here today expressing her gratitude to America's Olympic team for inspiring the folks back home.