Meredith Vieira stopped short of breaking out the pom-poms, but the 'Today' crew otherwise did its best to cheer Barack Obama and his appearance on last night's Monday Night Football. For those who missed MNF, the broadcast opened with a deadpan Obama seemingly on the verge of announcing his candidacy for president, before simply endorsing his home-state Chicago Bears.
Call me a grump, but watching it live last night my first reaction was "how's this for millions in free advertising, courtesy ABC-ESPN?"
But the folks at NBC clearly weren't troubled by a little politicking by their rivals at ABC. Nary a discouraging word was heard, and to the contrary, the Today cast tried to outdo each other with their praise for Barack and his performance:
I had a screen-capture malfunction this morning, but here is the closed-caption transcript of the exchange among Meredith, Matt Lauer and Al Roker.
(Update 9:50am: The transcript has now been checked against the MRC's recording of Today):
Matt Lauer: "That was good."
Al Roker: "That's very good."
Lauer: "Great idea by the folks at ESPN, and also it's great. I mean, it's a-la Clinton appearing, you know, playing saxaphone on the Arsenio Hall show in the early 90s. It takes him out of his comfort zone and shows he's got a sense of humor."
Meredith Vieira: "And he can act, which means he definitely could be President, right? So there you go.
Lauer: "Exactly right, it shows he's one of the guys. He likes the Bears."
Roker: "Da Bears."
Vieira: "Da Bears."
Lauer: "Whether he wins the presidency or not, he's big in Chicago, no question."
Vieira: "Absolutely, absolutely."
Are you ready for some Pepto?
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Update 15:15. Hot Air found a video of the Obama appearance on YouTube.