While Thursday's NBC Today completely ignored Wednesday's dramatic congressional hearing on the growing IRS scandal, the network morning show did manage to find time to gush over Barack Obama's 1979 prom picture, with fill-in news reader Tamron Hall exclaiming: "Well, now thanks to Time magazine, we have proof that even the commander-in-chief once donned the white dinner jacket. There he is, that's 17-year-old Barry Obama...at his senior prom in Hawaii...." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Hall provided another important detail to viewers: "President Obama's classmate Kelli Alman released the pictures to Time, complete with the President's yearbook inscription to her, calling her, quote, 'extremely sweet and foxy.'" The news brief prompted a thirty-second discussion on the topic.
Later, at the top of the 8 a.m. ET hour, Hall reported more White House fluff: "President Obama spoke of the comforting power of music when he honored Carole King at the White House last night with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music, which is given by the Library of Congress. Take a listen to the big moment." A clip played of King performing You've Got a Friend for the President.
Despite correspondent Peter Alexander previewing Obama's upcoming national security speech early in the show, no mention was made of the Benghazi scandal.
Meanwhile, Alexander made only a single vague reference to the controversy surrounding the administration's crackdown on journalists, including Associate Press reporters and Fox News correspondent James Rosen.
Here is a full transcript of the May 23 report on Obama's Prom:
TAMRON HALL: It is prom season, I probably don't have to tell you that, and most of us have some pretty cringe-worthy photos from our big night to prove that we were all awkward teenagers at some point.
Well, now thanks to Time magazine, we have proof that even the commander-in-chief once donned the white dinner jacket. There he is, that's 17-year-old Barry Obama, as he was called at the time, at his senior prom in Hawaii, that was in '79. President Obama's classmate Kelli Alman released the pictures to Time, complete with the President's yearbook inscription to her, calling her, quote, "extremely sweet and foxy."
MATT LAUER: This was his friend's girlfriend?
HALL: No, it was his date. Well, he called her "foxy."
LAUER: No, this was the friend's girlfriend.
HALL: The friend's girlfriend. But I don't know if it's more troubling, the white jacket or that he used foxy at 17. Who says that?
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: It was 1979.
LAUER: It was the time. Yeah, exactly.
GUTHRIE: I gotta tell you, there's a lot that's probably great about being president. Having your prom photos out for everyone to see, not one of those things.
HALL: Well, the key is the ladies knew they looked good, that's why they released the picture. Because if you thought you looked bad in the photo, it would be in the basement.
LAUER: Guys don't look good in prom. Never do.