On Tuesday, all three network morning shows dutifully touted a fake interview President Obama conducted with comedian Zach Galifianakis designed to help the commander-in-chief hock ObamaCare to young people. On NBC's Today, social media co-host Carson Daly gushed: "It's over six minutes long...all of it is really, really funny....You know, the First Lady's been everywhere showing her comedy chops and it's been great. But boy, the President, he is amazing in this. So check that out this morning if you have time." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the show's 9 a.m. ET hour, weatherman Al Roker praised Obama's comedic genius: "It's about the delivery and the President shows he's got the comedy chops." Co-host Tamron Hall declared: "Yes, yes. Which he shows at the White House Correspondents' Dinner every year." Co-host Willie Geist explained: "It was part of a – this concerted effort to promote the Affordable Care Act. Because they get into that and the President's allowed to explain it."
On ABC's Good Morning America, correspondent Lara Spencer cheered the "incredible face-to-face interview just released that's got us all laughing..." After playing a clip of the episode of Galifianakis's web show, "Between Two Ferns," Spencer proclaimed: "It's great, you got to check it out. It's – the President also takes time to reach out to young viewers, though, encouraging them to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act."
Not only did CBS This Morning also promote the fake interview, but White House correspondent Bill Plante appeared on the program to tout Obama's PR strategy:
This isn't your fathers TV world. The President is trying to reach out to a new audience. He's not the first to do it. Even Richard Nixon said "Sock it to me" in 1968. The President has appeared before in places which would have been considered beneath the dignity of a president in past years. He slow-jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon. He's appeared more than once with ladies of the The View. Neither show is exactly delicate in its approach but he's trying to reach the audience he needs so he traded a few mild insults with Galifianakis who finally asked, "What did you come here to plug?" And of course, it was health care. They need younger viewers. And the hope is that this will go viral. That it will be repeated and seen many times on YouTube on the web. So it's just a new way of doing things.
Moments later, co-host Norah O'Donnell observed: "It was interesting to hear some of the President's top advisers saying they'd chosen to do this because they're trying to break through in different mediums and also trying to sign up younger people for health care coverage." Fellow co-host Gayle King announced: "Alright, mission accomplished, I think."
In other words, the media played along perfectly with the White House effort to spread ObamaCare propaganda.
How would the national press have reacted if President Bush did a fake interview with a comedian to push a failing domestic policy in the midst of international crises?