OK, that settles it. This is what it's like to watch the news in North Korea.
Capping a day of unctuous fawning unmatched on television since MSNBC's coverage of the last inauguration, Rachel Maddow swooned upon her sudden realization last night that ... could it be? ... tell me it's so! ... the first couple might actually ... dance yet again!(video clip after page break)
On Thursday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams took time out of the broadcast to provide this supposed "news" update: "First Lady Michelle Obama turned 49 today. But the big news came as the First Lady's office inaugurated a Twitter account and sent out this picture showing the First Lady's new bangs. Which Vanity Fair's website instantly praised, calling them 'featherly,' and tracing their lineage in hair terms to Brigitte Bardot." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Coverage of the grooming development continued on Friday's Today as White House correspondent Kristen Welker proclaimed: "The buzz over her bangs was immediate. People magazine tweeted: 'Guess who's turning 49 with bangs? Yep. bday girl @michelleobama debuted a fab new cut.' Vanity Fair also weighed in, remarking, 'There's just no other way to put this – got bangs.'"
NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno took a fiscal poke at President Obama Thursday.
After mentioning that it was Michelle Obama’s birthday, and that she told reporters that she wanted “a nice gift from Barack, but nothing extravagant,” Leno quipped, “Oh, don't worry. Obama is very responsible when he's spending his own money. Don't have worry about that. No problem there” (video follows with commentary):
ABC’s Barbara Walters' "interview" with the Obamas on Thursday's Nightline ran much more like a celebrity infomercial. Walters was her usual self, asking questions void of substance and fawning over every detail of the First Family.
With the fiscal cliff looming just weeks after the interview originally took place, Walters had no questions on any matter of political significance. She did find time to discuss the family's dog Bo, pressing Mrs. Obama, "Does he follow you around all day?" and "What is Bo getting for Christmas?" [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
ABC News had to wait two weeks to get on air Barbara Walters’ interview with the Obamas -- and then the network’s evening newscast decided to focus on her asking Barack and Michelle Obama about their sex life.
“An ABC News exclusive,” fill-in World News anchor David Muir teased, “Barbara Walters at the White House, asking Michelle Obama if she’ll run for office next. And a personal question, too.” Viewers were then treated to a clip of Walters with the Obamas: “How do you keep the fire going?” The two laughed as Mrs. Obama giggled: “That’s a good question!”
The anti-gun Obama isn't so anti-gun when it comes to protecting his own family.
During a predictably gooey interview with Barbara Walters on ABC's Nightline Wednesday, the President joked about his daughter Malia dating boys saying, "I always talk about how one of the main incentives for running again was continuing secret service protection so there are men with guns around at all times" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC’s Good Morning America barely talked about the upcoming fiscal cliff on Wednesday but found time for another Obama-promoting fluff piece. Previewing Barbara Walters's upcoming interview with Mr. and Mrs. Obama on Wednesday evening’s Nightline, GMA picked a clip of Walters fawning over the couple's romance.
Walters touted "the most-shared photograph in the history of Twitter" of the President and his wife hugging. She later asked, "How do you keep the fire going?" [See video below jump. MP3 audio here.]
Missing from NBC's rosy Wednesday interview of Michelle Obama is her family vacation's cost to taxpayers. Reports are that the taxpayer bill for the Hawaii vacation will top $4 million.
"Come Christmas the First Family, Bo included, will head some 5,000 miles away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Today contributing correspondent Jenna Bush Hager said during NBC's "A White House Christmas" segment. "After an exciting but exhausting election season, the Obamas are happy to take this time to be together and enjoy the simple pleasures of family."
Good Morning America on Friday offered a fawning preview of Barbara Walters' exclusive interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. Walters gushed over the "touching," "charming" couple and asked the President softballs such as "What's your favorite app?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist couldn't get over just how adorable the two Democrats are, fawning, "Together, she teases him. He teases her. It's a whole other look." Quite pleased with herself, Walters declared that such moments are what's "charming about this interview."
If you’re not one of the people in “Everyone” who loves Michelle Obama, you must not be following the collapse of Newsweek. In one of the magazine’s last print editions, Allison Samuels is asking “What's next for our incredibly popular first lady? Samuel L. Jackson and other super-fans weigh in.”
Jackson is in love: “Michelle is Superwoman. What can’t she do?...That’s why people love her. She can be on the Supreme Court and anywhere else she wants. She can be the president. She’s history and she’ll stay history because she is so amazingly smart and together.” Samuels continued in this syrupy vein:
In his page A51 November 7 column, "Voting on same-sex marriage, with the Book of Leviticus ringing in my ears," the Washington Post's Courtland Milloy explained how, as a child raised in the "Bible Belt during the 1950s with that Old-Time Religion," he's still haunted by "Leviticus, that strong-arm book of the Bible that for years has tried to dictate my thoughts and actions through fear and guilt and on Tuesday dogged my every step to the polls."
What followed was Milloy recounting his consultations with two liberal theological influences in the local African-American community who helped convince him that voting for same-sex marriage was biblically kosher. He also tossed in a conservative black pastor who was quickly derided as a biblical literalist who is "not literate" in the estimation of a Howard Divinity professor. But at the very close of his column, Milloy rather gratuitously dropped in something that suggests he was struggling with lusting in his heart after President Obama's wife:
Even if Obama loses next week, the media goo machine will keep cranking away. The new TV Guide is already speculating: “Will Michelle Obama Be the Next Oprah?” Writer Stephen Battaglio imagines what a star she could become (if her husband loses).
She could be bigger than Oprah? “Michelle Obama is such an appealing TV presence that if she and her husband find themselves moving out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, she’ll have the opportunity to make the transition from high-profile engaging talk-show guest to high-profile talk-show host – arguably the biggest ever in terms of recognition.” Experts agree, like a former CNN president.
In a fawning softball interview with First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday's NBC Today, special correspondent Ryan Seacrest was eager to know how she helps the President during debates: "What did you say to him when the two of you walked backstage after the first debate?...Have you spoken to him about the prep?...does he make eye contact with you? Does he look at you for encouragement?"
The First Lady explained: "I'm perched. I'm looking at him. I'm smiling. I'm giving a thumbs up if he can see it....I assume that he can, so I make sure that I'm always giving him that positive love."
In the fourth and final part of ABC's 20 minute-long interview with Michelle Obama, Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday praised the First Lady's skill at "the art of the cut that doesn't draw blood." After playing a clip of Mrs. Obama at the Democratic National Convention, McFadden cued, "Do you think Mitt Romney is the kind of guy that slams the door behind himself [when it comes to allowing opportunity for others]?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist hyped that the First Lady turns her husband's "cool persona just a little bit warmer." After three days of softball questions, McFadden's attempts at getting tough mostly fell flat. While talking about hopes for Barack Obama's presidency, the reporter wondered, "Have you had to pull back some of your own expectations; what was possible from even this perch?"
Tuesday's Nightline featured the second part of an exhaustive, three part interview with Michelle Obama. Once again, co-anchor Cynthia McFadden failed to ask any tough questions to the First Lady, instead offering only softballs and repeating White House spin.
McFadden followed Mrs. Obama as she did events promoting higher employment for returning veterans. Co-anchor Bill Weir teased the latest segment as yet another celebrity puff piece (complete with clips from Sesame Street and Extreme Makeover): "We got a little taste of Michelle Obama at home last night. Tonight, you two go on the road." Since military issues were the topic, where were the questions about the 2000th death in Afghanistan?
One of the lamest excuses liberals offered for Barack Obama's poor performance at last week's debate was that Mitt Romney somehow cheated.
On NBC's Tonight Show Monday, Jay Leno said, "I don't know who he cheated off of. I think you can rule out President Obama, okay? He didn't have any answers worth stealing" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary).
Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden continued her fawning, multi-part profile of Michelle Obama on Monday night, worrying about the "extra responsibilities" that Mrs. Obama faces as an African American First Lady. She then offered this softball: "Is it different to be a black child growing up in America today than it was four years ago?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Fellow co-anchor Bill Weir bragged that his colleague had been "granted rare access" to Mrs. Obama. McFadden wondered if the President is "a bit intimidated, a little bit afraid" of his wife. The journalist then pushed Mrs. Obama to brag about the impact she's had.
ABC's Cynthia McFadden was dripping with sugary admiration on Monday for President Obama's "not-so-secret weapon," First Lady Michelle Obama. She touted Obama as a big hugger" and "very warm in person."
Obama made statements like this that went unchallenged by McFadden: "I rarely step foot in the West Wing. In fact, people are shocked when they see me there." That sentiment of a hands-off policy flatly contradicts Jodi Kantor's reporting in the New York Times of definitive friction between the First Lady and the President's staff. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The Obamas found the time to appear on The View on Monday, and the hour-long special was shown on Tuesday. In yet another casual interview for the entertainment-focused media, the First Couple responded to a myriad of questions from the hosts of The View that only touched on issues of significance near the end. Did we really need to hear about the Obama marriage and courtship....again?
For example, Barbara Walters wanted to know how they were going to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary. Sherri Shepherd thought they should share the story behind their first kiss. Joy Behar wondered what time they go to bed and what they talk about. Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked about their daughters' extracurricular activities, but Whoopi Goldberg stayed uncharacteristically quiet until she could ask a more topical question.
Time magazine offered its Ten Questions interview to “fashion’s new phenom Prabal Gurung” in the September 17 edition, and asked him to load up the “wows” for how Michelle Obama honored him and his native country by wearing his dresses. Par for the course for Time, yes?
Here’s where it gets odd. The video of Time writer Feifei Sun’s interview with Gurung is substantially different than the interview that appeared in the magazine. Did Time “clean it up” by rewriting it to fit (or to add flair), despite the impression readers would get that they are reading an actual transcript? Here’s the please-boost-Michelle question in the magazine:
Liz Harrington at CNSNews.com reports that First Lady Michelle Obama touted "exciting changes" in school lunches in a video message.
“And today I want to tell you about some exciting changes that you’ll be seeing in your school cafeterias,” she said. “Starting this year, the talented people who cook the food at your school will be offering all kinds of healthy, delicious new choices. Foods that are good for you and that taste good, too. These healthy foods are good for your body, they’ll give you energy and make you stronger and they’re also good for your mind,” Mrs. Obama said.
NBC late-night host Jimmy Fallon somehow doesn't think it's enough to "slow jam the news" with President Obama, or exercise with the First Lady in the East Room of the White House. As the Democratic convention closed, he performed a James Taylor impression, singing the hit "Fire and Rain" with the joke title "Romney and Bain." The Huffington Post boasted "It's also a pretty explicit endorsement of the Obama campaign, with the lyric, '"So I'll prob'ly vote Obama again,' right there in the refrain."
Not only that, but Fallon sings in 2016, he'll vote for "the Dream Team, Michelle and Hillary." (Video below)
The fashionistas in the “objective” press displayed their favoritism by boosting Michelle Obama’s convention speech dress and quoted flagrant Michelle-boosters like Kate Betts, who insisted whatever stylishness the Republican women had they owed to the pioneering Mrs. Obama.
Just how in the tank for President Obama is MSNBC contributor Ronald Reagan?
On Friday's Hardball, he actually said Michelle Obama gave the "best speech by a first lady I have ever seen, and, you know, all due respect to my own mother" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Last week in Tampa, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, both hit Ann Romney with a pointed political contention from the left, but tonight (Thursday) in Charlotte, neither challenged Michelle Obama with any political argument forwarded by conservatives.
Williams posed a long-winded question about the Obama daughters and cued up the First Lady to assess a New York Times reporter’s take that President Obama is “‘a proud yet humbled President, a confident yet scarred President, a dreamer mugged by reality.’ Does that resemble the man you know?”
On Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd cheered Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention while running down the GOP: "[She] had a hold on the delegates in this hall in a way that no speaker was able to do in Tampa. A stark contrast to the Republicans in the way they structured their convention and with the enthusiasm."
During NBC's live convention coverage Tuesday night, Todd could barely contain his excitement. At one point, he proclaimed that the First Lady "owned this convention...in a way that no speaker owned the floor of the convention in Tampa." Prior to Mrs. Obama's address, Todd applauded "the passion that you see throughout the evening" at the Democratic gathering, and claimed that Republicans "waited for the television cameras to come on" to show similar enthusiasm at their convention.