Good Morning America correspondent Yunji de Nies on Thursday touted White House talking points when she highlighted Michelle Obama’s pitch for the 2016 Olympics to be in Chicago. De Nies parroted, "We're told there won't be a dry eye in the house by the time she's done." She was "told" this?
Was she also told that the First Lady would "bring down the house" or that "Michelle will hit a home run?" De Nies was in Copenhagen, covering the lobbying by Mr. and Mrs. Obama and Oprah Winfrey to the International Olympic Committee. De Nies also enthused, "And the President and First Lady will share the stage at that final presentation. We're told that he will focus on the big picture, while she will get very personal. She'll speak from the heart."
Earlier in the segment, the ABC correspondent fawned that the "The First Lady is heading Chicago's Olympic dream team..." In fairness, de Nies did feature House Minority Leader John Boehner decrying the President’s visit. She also explained, "That endeavor is not without controversy. This week, Chicago's bid drew protests at home. Tom Tresser runs No Games Chicago, a group that believes the games will bankrupt the city."
However, preemptively informing viewers that Mrs. Obama will bring an audience to tears is the type of journalism one should expect from Entertainment Tonight. It shouldn’t be on Good Morning America.
A transcript of the October 1 segment, which aired at 7:07am EDT, follows:
ROBIN ROBERTS: The torch is passed. First Lady Michelle Obama makes her pitch to bring the Olympics back to her hometown of Chicago. Will, she, the President and Oprah carry enough star power to get the job done?
ROBERTS: We’re going to change topics now. President Obama travels to Denmark tonight, after deciding the best way to campaign for the Olympic games is to do so in person. First Lady Michelle Obama is already there. And so is ABC'S Yunji de Nies, who joins us live from Copenhagen. Good morning, Yunji.
YUNJI DE NIES: Good morning, Robin. It is crunch time. The First Lady is spending the entire day behind closed doors. Meeting one-on-one with IOC members. She has just over 24 hours to secure the key votes. Michelle Obama began the day meeting a very important president. Not her husband, but the President of the International Olympic committee. The First Lady is heading Chicago's Olympic dream team, with star athletes by her side and some very high-powered help.
OPRAH WINFREY: I'm sort of an ambassador. Am I not, mayor? I'm kind of a- I've been appointed- I’ve appointed myself my own ambassador for Chicago.
DE NIES: An ambassador with her own brand. And a single task.
WINFREY: Really, just ask that I show up and be friendly. So, that's not very hard for me.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Every, single city who is bidding, wishes they had Oprah on their team. And we have her and we are grateful that she is part of this endeavor.
DE NIES: That endeavor is not without controversy. This week, Chicago's bid drew protests at home. Tom Tresser runs No Games Chicago, a group that believes the games will bankrupt the city.
TOM TRESSER (No Games Chicago): It's just the wrong project for the wrong city at the wrong time.
DE NIES: Across the globe, in Washington, critics say the President should stay out of this campaign.
REP JOHN BOEHNER: And now, the President's going to go off to Copenhagen, when we've got serious issues here at home that need to be debated.
DE NIES: The President will be on the ground for just a few hours. Long enough to headline the last presentation. The final pitch to undecided IOC members, like Ung Chang. What are you looking for? How can someone convince you?
UNG CHANG (International Olympic Committee): The last presentation. Last presentation. That's important.
DE NIES: And the President and First Lady will share the stage at that final presentation. We're told that he will focus on the big picture, while she will get very personal. She'll speak from the heart. We're told there won't be a dry eye in the house by the time she's done. And, Robin, Oprah says, if all goes according to plan, the party starts tomorrow.
ROBERTS: In Chicago, and everywhere here in the U.S. Yunji, thanks so much.