President Bush went to Kansas yesterday to discuss a number of important issues facing the nation including the war in Iraq, and terrorist surveillance. Yet, what seems to have most captured the attention of America’s media is a question asked of the president by a reporter in attendance yesterday concerning whether or not he has seen the controversial film “Brokeback Mountain.” In fact, the media found this such an important issue that all three broadcast networks addressed it during their morning news programs today.
The “Today Show’s” Matt Lauer ended his segment with guest Bill O’Reilly this morning by playing a video clip of the exchange between President Bush and this reporter at Kansas State University, after which he asked O’Reilly: “So, O'Reilly, have you seen it? Should it be given the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year?”
ABC’s “Good Morning America” was a bit more discrete. They presented this exchange as part of a video montage of some of the funny questions and answers that occurred during the president’s address.
Finally, the “CBS Morning News’” Susan McGinnis introduced the now famous video exchange with: "Well, President Bush says his Texas ranch is his favorite place, but that doesn't mean that "Brokeback Mountain," about two ranch-hands who fall in love, is his favorite movie. The president was asked about the film just yesterday.” After the clip, McGinnis said: “His questioner said, quote, ‘You would love it. You should check it out.’"
What follows is a full transcript of the “Today Show” segment, and a full transcript of the “CBS Morning News” segment with a video link.
LAUER: Let's end on this. On Monday the president on the road got asked a question from a reporter a little bit out of the box. Take a look.
Offscreen Voice: I was just wanting to get your opinion on "Brokeback Mountain." If you'd seen it yet?
Pres. BUSH: I haven't seen it. I'd be glad to talk about ranching but I haven't seen the movie. I've heard about it.
LAUER: So, O'Reilly, have you seen it? Should it be given the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year?
Mr. O'REILLY: I'm afr--I'm afraid of cowboys; I'm from Long Island. I'm afraid of all cowboys. And gay cowboys? I mean, I don't--I don't get the whole shepherd/cowboy/pup tent connection. I'm not getting all this. So I--you know, I'm a simple guy. I get "King Kong." He's a big gorilla. I get him, all right? This other stuff a little over my head. And it's in subtitles, isn't it? Cowboy subtitles?
LAUER: Bill--Bill O'Reilly...
Mr. O'REILLY: `Yup,' `nope.'
LAUER: Good to have you here.
Mr. O'REILLY: Thank you, Matt, I appreciate it.
LAUER: See you soon, all right?
Mr. O'REILLY: Thanks for giving me a headache. My God.
SUSAN McGINNIS, anchor: Well, President Bush says his Texas ranch is his favorite place, but that doesn't mean that "Brokeback Mountain," about two ranch-hands who fall in love, is his favorite movie. The president was asked about the film just yesterday.
President GEORGE W. BUSH: I'd be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie. I've heard about it. I hope you go. You know, I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm is what I was about to say.
McGINNIS: His questioner said, quote, "You'd love it. You should check it out."