Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose acted as apologists for President Obama on Thursday's CBS This Morning, after former presidential assistant Reggie Love revealed the Democrat's apprehension to monitor the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden. O'Donnell worried that "some people are going to take that headline out of context today", and underlined that it was "clearly a tension-filled day."
Rose was even more blatant in his defense of the President: "I want the President to do whatever he needs to do to clear his mind, so he can make the most effective decision he can." [audio available here; video below the jump]
The two CBS anchors revealed their pro-Obama slant after playing a clip of Love's July 2013 speech at UCLA. The former presidential aide recalled that the chief executive stepped out of the Situation Room to play 15 hands of Spades with him and some of the other White House staff.
Just before making her "out of context" prediction, O'Donnell asserted that "clearly, the President, I think, needed to take a break." Rose then added his sympathetic commentary.
It should be pointed out that this is only the latest example of on-air personalities' deferential treatment of President Obama. Back in June 2013, Rose was more than halfway through his interview with the Democrat before he finally raised the NSA surveillance controversy, and didn't bring up any of the other scandals plaguing his administration.
O'Donnell shamelessly forwarded the President's talking points on the gun control issue during an April 2013 interview of Republican Senator Johnny Isakson. She also claimed on October 4, 2012 that Obama left his "greatest hits on the cutting room floor" during a presidential debate with opponent Mitt Romney.
The transcript of the O'Donnell/Rose segment from Thursday's CBS This Morning:
NORAH O'DONNELL: President Obama's former body man says the day Osama bin Laden was killed, the President took a break to play a card game. You may remember this photo from the White House Situation Room, as top officials watched the Navy SEAL raid.
Well, last month at UCLA, Reggie love talked about doing other things with the President to help relieve some of the tension that day
[CBS News Graphic: "White House Of Cards: President Played Cards During Bin Laden Raid"]
REGGIE LOVE, FMR. SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRES. OBAMA (from conference at UCLA): This Sunday – I mean, we worked the – I mean, we were there until almost – I mean, I think he went on tv at midnight and – almost midnight – and sat around in the private dining room kind of like – most people were, like, down in the Situation Room, and he was like, I'm not – I can't – I'm not going to be down there. I can't watch this entire thing and this – so he; myself; Pete Souza, the White House photographer; Marvin – we played – we must have played 15 hands – 15 games of Spades.
O'DONNELL: That video from the event was just posted online this week. 15 games of spade (sic) – it was a long raid that was cared out. It took a long way – that operation. And clearly, the President, I think, needed to take a break. But I think some people are going to take that headline out of context today.
CHARLIE ROSE: I take out of that – I want the President to do whatever he needs to do to clear his mind, so he can make the most effective decision he can.
O'DONNELL: Right. That was clearly a tension-filled day.