CNN's King: Williams Asking Obama to Plug Tonight Show 'Way Over the Line'

On Tuesday evening, the new host of the "Tonight" show, Conan O'Brien, got a great plug from President Obama all made possible by "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams (video embedded right).

On Thursday, CNN's John King told WOR radio's Steve Malzberg that Williams asking the President to do such a promo wasn't from his school of journalism and was "way over the line."

What follows is a partial transcript of this exchange (ten-minute audio available here with relevant section beginning at 7:40):

STEVE MALZBERG, WOR RADIO:  You're sitting down with the President. You have unlimited access, or, or great access to him like Brian Williams had the other day. Do you then ask him to do a promo for an upcoming CNN show the way they did for the Conan O'Brien show? Is that appropriate?

JOHN KING, CNN: The answer on that would be no. No. Never. No. 

MALZBERG: Okay, well that's simple. To the point. Boom, boom, boom. I love it. Hey, John...

KING: It's my school of journalism, it may not be everyone else's school of journalism, but it's my school of journalism is that I interview all these guys with respect. I respect the office, I respect the people, I respect anybody that puts themselves out there like that. But, I, you know, I need to protect myself and my integrity and my credibility, and the President of the United States, you know, God bless him, God bless the one before him, and God bless the next 200 to come. I'm not going to ask them for an endorsement or a product endorsement. I think that's way over the line.   

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.