During a report on Thursday's NBC Today about the impact of NCAA March Madness office pools on worker productivity, correspondent Kerry Sanders casually touted: "March Madness, an American distraction....Even the President takes a break from world affairs to fill out his bracket." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At no point did Sanders offer any criticism of Obama taking a "break from world affairs" during the Ukrainian crisis. Co-host Savannah Guthrie introduced the segment by wondering: "Does March Madness really interfere with getting actual work done?" Amid clips of employees filling out their brackets, Sanders declared: "If you're calling a business today, don't be surprised if your call goes unanswered."
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams gushed: "One sports writer with USA Today observed the President's picks have become increasingly bold during his presidency, make of that what you will." Williams failed to note the President's lack of boldness in dealing with Russia.
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America fawned over the "bracketologist-in-chief" Obama practicing "Barackatology" while filling out his March Madness bracket.
Here is a portion of Sanders's March 20 report on Today:
7:43 AM ET
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Today not only marks the start of spring but the tipoff of the main action in the NCAA basketball tournament. And if you plan on spending this morning filling out your bracket, you are not alone. But does March Madness really interfere with getting actual work done? Here's NBC's Kerry Sanders.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: The Business of Brackets; Does March Madness Really Cost Companies Money?]
KERRY SANDERS: If you're calling a business today, don't be surprised if your call goes unanswered. All because of March Madness, an American distraction.
ANDY KATZ [ESPN]: I've got the magic pen for you.
SANDERS: Even the President takes a break from world affairs to fill out his bracket.
KATZ: Who do have winning the national championship?
BARACK OBAMA: I've got Michigan State going all the way.