On Friday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Randall Pinkston described President Obama’s Thursday address to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: "The crowd responded to his soaring, almost sermon-like rhetoric."
Obama’s speech was part of the NAACP’s annual convention and marked the 100th anniversary of the organization’s founding. Fill-in co-host Jeff Glor introduced Pinkston’s report by declaring: "The NAACP has spent a century trying to break down racial barriers...last night's anniversary party in New York featured the man who broke the ultimate barrier."
In contrast to the two news briefs the Early Show dedicated to the President’s speech, both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today offered only single-sentence reports. [audio available here]
Here is the full transcript of the Early Show reports:
JEFF GLOR: The NAACP is 100 years old, and President Obama joined the celebration in New York last night. Mr. Obama said, without the NAACP's efforts, he would not be president. He also said race relations in America can still be improved.
BARACK OBAMA: There probably has never been less discrimination in America than there is today. I think we can say that. But make no mistake, the pain of discrimination is still felt in America.
GLOR: The President said he wants young people to quote, ‘be aspiring to be scientists, engineers, doctors, and teachers, not just ballers and rappers.’
JEFF GLOR: The NAACP has spent a century trying to break down racial barriers. And as CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston reports now, last night's anniversary party in New York featured the man who broke the ultimate barrier.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking Barriers; President Addresses NAACP]
RANDALL PINKSTON: When the founders of the NAACP held their first meeting 100 years ago, the idea of an African-American commander in chief was a distant dream, but no more.
BARACK OBAMA: What we celebrate tonight is not simply the journey the NAACP has traveled, but the journey that we as Americans have traveled over the past 100 years.
PINKSTON: The crowd responded to his soaring, almost sermon-like rhetoric.
OBAMA: Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. But that's not a reason to get bad grades. That's not a reason to cut class. That's not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands. You cannot forget that. I want them aspiring to be scientists and engineers, doctors and teachers, not just ballers and rappers. I want them aspiring to be a Supreme Court justice. I want them aspiring to be the President of the United States of America.
PINKSTON: No matter the difficulty, Mr. Obama insists there can be no excuses because there is work to do for a new generation who can see, perhaps more than ever, that hard work can make dreams come true. Randall Pinkston, CBS News, New York.