NBC's Today Promotes Michelle Obama's NYT Op-Ed

In an apparent effort to help bolster Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign and her advocacy for revamping the menu of the nation's public school cafeterias, NBC's Today show plugged the first lady's May 29 New York Times op-ed on the subject.

The peacock network hailed Mrs. Obama as one who typically avoids playing politics, but who has courageously decided to step in and make her voice heard on this issue, taking on Republicans who oppose her fight to make America's kids thinner and healthier.

In her Times piece, Mrs. Obama argued Republicans are seeking to “undo” what has been done to combat the “obesity epidemic.” The First Lady made several emotional appeals in the piece, stating that “Our children deserve so much better than this.” She called on Congress to act for the sake of the children, “Today, as parents, we always put our children's interests first. Our leaders in Washington should do the same."

While NBC was the only network to showcase Mrs. Obama’s op-ed, as my colleague Kyle Drennen noted yesterday, all three major broadcast networks have made a habit out of pushing the First Lady’s efforts, including ABC's Diane Sawyer hailing the president's spouse as an “unlikely gladiator.”
 

The relevant portion is transcribed below:

KRISTEN WELKER: In her op-ed today, the first lady has accused members of Congress trying, quote, undo what has been accomplished when it comes to fighting childhood obesity. It's a part of a rare full-court political press from the First Lady and it comes as we get an exclusive first look at her latest "Let's move!" video.

RICHARD SHERMAN: Well, Mrs. Obama, I know how important it is for everybody to eat right.

WELKER: The first lady enlisting the Seattle Seahawks in her fight to promote healthy eating.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Richard take me through your final plate.

WELKER: But the first lady’s hardest hit comes in a "The New York times" op-ed out this morning where she intensifies her recent attacks against the Republican-led House of Representatives for trying to scale back the new federal nutritional standards, writing “some members are now threatening to roll back these new standards and lower the quality of food our kids get in school.” “Our children deserve so much better than this” she argues.

(...)

WELKER: Today Obama ends her op-ed, “As parents we always put our children's interests first. Our leaders in Washington should do the same."

SHERMAN: When you try to put an easy meal like salmon cakes and succotash, that's the results you'll get.

WELKER: Michelle Obama uncharacteristically tackling politics head on.
 

Jackie Seal
Jackie Seal is a 2014 summer intern with the MRC's News Analysis Division.