Three Networks Salivate Over Obama-Seinfeld Comedy Summit Online

On December 22, Kyle Drennen reported  NBC’s Today devoted two full reports to President Obama appearing on Jerry Seinfeld’s web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Once again, Obama plays the part of comedian instead of chief executive, and the networks come running. On December 31 – the day the Seinfeld show was available online – all three networks aired gushy reports to close out 2015 on the usual servile note.

The longest on Thursday was on CBS This Morning, with Chip Reid reporting from Hawaii with the rest of the “working” White House press corps. It was almost four minutes (3:52):

JEFF GLOR: The First Family will ring in the new year in Hawaii, but this morning, we have new insight into their life at the White House. President Obama headlined last night's season premiere of Jerry Seinfeld's online series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Chip Reid is traveling with the President in Honolulu. Chip, good morning.

CHIP REID: Well, good morning. Usually, Jerry Seinfeld only invites comedians to appear with him on the show and it was taped at the White House earlier this month and Jerry Seinfeld says the President has delivered just enough funny lines to qualify.

SEINFELD: You ready?

OBAMA: I have got some stuff to do.

REID: If you were expecting a conversation percolating with domestic and foreign policy, well, that is just not Jerry Seinfeld's brand.

SEINFELD [TO OBAMA]: Are these washed?

OBAMA: Come on. Let's go. Let's go get some coffee.

REID: Not that there is anything wrong with that....A leader of the comedy world strolled the White House grounds with the leader of the free world and, like the coffee, the conversation flowed.

SEINFELD: How far can you wander around up there in your underwear? How far can you get before there is like people and it's not cool?

OBAMA: It's not cool generally wandering around in my underwear.

ABC's Good Morning America offered the least promotion, at 40 seconds, under the headline "Pop News: Driving Mr. President."

SARA HAINES: Now to President Obama's new job title this morning. Comedian. Mr. Obama took a spin with Jerry Seinfeld to kick off the season opener of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and the rendezvous began with Seinfeld creeping around in the bushes outside Oval Office. You can get in trouble for that then knocking on the window to get the President's attention. Here's a sneak peek.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Would be the zero to eight demographic.


OBAMA: They love me partly because I think my ears are big and so I look a little like a cartoon character.


OBAMA: And then little kids love saying my name.


OBAMA: But it's all one big name. It's Barack Obama.

Despite offering two previous full reports, NBC's Today returned for another 95 seconds on the day of the Seinfeld debut:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Now to Jerry Seinfeld and the President, and Taylor Swift's tease. Dylan has Pop Start this morning.

DYLAN DREYER: Yeah, I love Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The season seven premier for Jerry Seinfeld's web series kicked off last night and it featured one very special guest, President Barack Obama. Take a look.

JERRY SEINFELD: Don't you think every American child is a president, and a grow up loving the president?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I do really well with the 0 to 8 demographic.


OBAMA: They love me. Partly, they think my ears are big, and I look a little like a cartoon character.

JERRY SEINFELD: Right. [screen wipe] Can you adjust the temperature in here? Have you touch add thermostat in here at all?

OBAMA: No, I make a call.

JERRY SEINFELD: If I slid open your underwear drawer, one brand or a number of brands?

OBAMA: You have to go with one brand.

JERRY SEINFELD: One brand, one color?

OBAMA: Yeah, of course. This is a critical concept.

JERRY SEINFELD: With more work you don't need. You have to go off at some point with food. What's your thing?

OBAMA: Nachos. That’s one of those where I have to have it taken away. I'll have the guacamole coming out of my eyeballs.

SEINFELD: What sport is politics? Is it chess? Is it liar's poker?

OBAMA: It’s probably most like football. You have to punt a lot. But every once in a while, you'll see a hole, and then there's open field.

DREYER: I love it. I can't wait to see the whole thing. Jerry Seinfeld tweeted about the episode, saying: “Season Premier! Me. The most powerful man in the world. Result: 19 min of nonsense.” Said as only Jerry can.

The networks between them were approaching 19 minutes of nonsense promoting Obama being a cool celebrity with the "leader of the comedy world."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis