The journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday offered a light-hearted, whimsical look at the Obama family's multi-country vacation. Reporter Linsey Davis played U2's "Beautiful Day" and compared the Ireland part of the trip to National Lampoon's European Vacation. Davis gushed, "You know it's a beautiful day when U2's Bono reportedly invites you to a private lunch at his favorite Irish pub, the famous Finigan's of Dalkey."
She added that "dining with a rock star is one of the perks of being a first family." Nowhere on the morning program was any mention of the cost of the trip. Ireland's Independent reported, "It is understood a total of 30 rooms in the five-star, 265-bedroom hotel, have been booked for the visit of Mrs Obama and her entourage."
Later this month, President Obama and family will travel to Africa. The Washington Post last week put the price tag for that trip at between $60 and $100 million. Unlike GMA, the journalists at Today actually covered this piece of investigative reporting. Matt Lauer on Friday noted, "...But a lot of people are saying in difficult economic times that`s a lot of money."
Under a headline of "Presidential Travels, Kingly Sums," Post reporters Carol D. Leonnig and Dvid Nakamura revealed:
Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.
The Post writers reminded that this occurred as government agencies are "wrestling with mandatory across-the-board budget cuts" and White House tours are being cancelled."
Instead of noting this, the reporters at GMA joked about how the Obamas's teenage daughters must be bored by it all. George Stephanopoulos laughed, "Oh, man. We have to have lunch with Bono again."
A transcript of the June 18 segment, which aired at 7:16am ET, follows:
ABC GRAPHIC: Obama Family Vacation: Sasha and Malia Front and Center
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're getting a little more now on the President's trip overseas. It's a family affair. First Lady Sasha and Malia having fun, catching up on some family history and getting ready for a pretty special lunch. Here's ABC's Linzie Davis.
["Beautiful Day" by U2 plays]
LINSEY DAVIS: You know it's a beautiful day when U2's Bono reportedly invites you to a private lunch at his favorite Irish pub, the famous Finigan's of Dalkey. While dining with a rock star is one of the perks of being a first family, some of the overseas vacations can be a bit much when you're 14 and 11, as we've seen on this most recent trips. Even the President's daughters can get a bit bored with history as they pored over relics like the Medieval Book of Kells, Malia's face revealed a typical teen's response.
MICHELLE OBAMA: We couldn't be more thrilled to see a live performance of Riverdance.
DAVIS: Although every around is giving thunderous applause to the First Lady, you may join in because she is, after all, your mother. Or as they meet with distant Irish cousins how quickly these once-in-a-lifetime experiences can take a turn when the children become about as impressed as the Griswold's in European Vacation.
[Clip from National Lampoon's European Vacation.]
DAVIS: For Good Morning America, Linzie Davis, ABC News, New York.
ROBIN ROBERTS: Likening it to the Griswolds?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Oh, man. We have to have lunch with Bono again.
ROBERTS: Gee, mom. What a trip they are having.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Looks like a lot of fun.