The irony must have been lost on Bill Plante when he reported on Monday's CBS This Morning that President Obama "did golf with Tiger [Woods], but we didn't see a picture of it. They [the Obama administration] don't like to show a picture of the President at leisure doing anything. They see this as propaganda for the Republicans."
However, exactly two weeks earlier, on February 4, 2013, Plante acted as an Obama administration stenographer as he pointed out a photo released by the White House of the President "at leisure" – specifically, firing a shotgun. He also spotlighted menu choices for the chief executive's Super Bowl festivities:
BILL PLANTE: The White House released this photo over the weekend of the President skeet shooting at Camp David, to back up his recent statement that he's familiar with firearms and not an enemy of the Second Amendment....
Now, the President did take a break from politics on Sunday. He hosted his own Super Bowl party here at the White House. He had some friends over, and the menu was carefully balanced between Baltimore and San Francisco – Chesapeake Bay crab cakes, San Francisco cioppino stew with sourdough toast, and a couple of craft beers from each city.
This isn't the first time that the CBS correspondent has glowingly reported on the President's culinary picks. On the March 15, 2012 edition of CBS This Morning, anchor Charlie Rose brought on Plante to discuss the wines that the White House served at the state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron:
PLANTE: Well, I did. You know, they call themselves the most transparent administration in history, and they're hiding the wines they serve at the state dinner. (Rose laughs) Hello? Look, the wines are always some of the best in America, and until last year, they were always listed. But now, the White House has kind of wimped out-
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah-
PLANTE: Last night's wines were some very good wines, and one of California's great Chardonnays, Pete Michael; a Cabernet from Washington State. The retail prices are relatively high. Then, the sparkling wine at the end from Iron Horse- not so high. But look, all of those wines are wines that California and America- and Washington State- can be proud of. But the White House is worried about the optics. They're afraid that they'll be accused of being extravagant, and, of course, it's an election year. And it's too bad because the winemakers get no credit, except that we just gave them one.
Co-anchor Norah O'Donnell set up the veteran journalist reporting on Obama's celebrity golf outing near the end of a report on immigration reform: "So Bill, the President is spending this holiday weekend in Florida. I understand he golfed with Tiger Woods, but the White House press corps is being denied access." Plante then gave a 15-second brief on the story, which included his "propaganda" line.
Back in May 2012, the CBS journalist helped boost the Obama administration's spin on Vice President Biden's support for same-sex "marriage". Plante failed to include any soundbites for conservatives or even moderate Democrats during his report, and mentioned social conservatives' opposition only in passing.
The transcript of the relevant portion of the Bill Plante report on Monday's CBS This Morning:
NORAH O'DONNELL: So Bill, the President is spending this holiday weekend in Florida. I understand he golfed with Tiger Woods, but the White House press corps is being denied access.
PLANTE: Well, he did golf with Tiger, but we didn't see a picture of it. They don't like to show a picture of the President at leisure doing anything. They see this as propaganda for the Republicans. We, of course, like to say that we ought to see the President do whatever he's doing. (O'Donnell laughs) They have a different opinion.
O'DONNELL: That's right. All right. Thanks, Bill.