NBC's 'Today' Skips Midterms, Fawns Over JFK Wedding Photos Instead

While ignoring any mention of the pivotal midterm election less than a month away that could decide control of the United States Senate, on Tuesday, NBC's Today instead devoted a full two-minute segment in its first hour to newly discovered photos of John and Jackie Kennedy's wedding – from 61 years ago.

Co-host Matt Lauer introduced the segment by announcing "a stunning series of never-before-seen photographs from the wedding of John and Jacqueline Kennedy." In the report that followed, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "It was one of the most celebrated American weddings of the 20th century, the handsome young senator and his beautiful bride....Now more than six decades since Camelot, a never-before-seen glimpse at that historic wedding day, September 12th, 1953."

Soundbites were featured of author and former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas gushing: "They were better than good looking. They were glamorous and magical....One of the guests at the wedding said that it was a coronation."

Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of the auction house selling the photos, cheered: "This is the beginning of Camelot. This is America's version of a royal wedding, it's spectacular....Jack and Jackie have just left the chapel and they're glowing. It's just unbelievable that this is left behind."

Near the end of the story, Thomas concluded: "You would think that we would have seen every Kennedy photo by now. And yet, Americans are still fixated by the Kennedys." Alexander added: "All these years later, more enduring images of Camelot emerging from the dark."

The segment edited out JFK's notorious infidelity that plagued the marriage.

Both ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning did manage to provide a meager amount of election coverage, but only pro-Democratic fluff.

GMA decided to devote an entire story to American Idol contestant turned Democratic congressional candidate Clay Aiken, despite Aiken trailing badly in the North Carolina race.

Meanwhile, This Morning offered a mere 50 seconds to the midterms, all of it focused on vulnerable Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark Pryor taking a selfie with Bill Clinton at a Monday campaign event:

GAYLE KING: Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark Pryor is having trouble framing his reelection campaign, so he turned a famous former governor for help during a campaign stop on Monday.

SEN. MARK PRYOR [D-AR]: Mr. President, or should I say grandpa? Grandpa, can I get a selfie? Let's do it! Let's do it! Hold on. Let's do it, we're gonna do it. Right there. Hey, there we go! We got it!

KING: And everybody says, "Hold on, hold on." And off it went to Pryor's campaign Twitter feed. He's locked in a tight race that will help determine control of the Senate. Everybody likes a selfie, it's here to stay.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Yeah, and Bill Clinton is apparently one of the rare Democratic surrogates that could actually make a difference in that race.

KING: Yeah.

Here is a full transcript of Alexander's October 7 Today report on the Kennedy wedding photos:

7:31 AM ET TEASE:

AL ROKER: Coming up, a remarkable dark room discovery. It's a story behind these newly unearthed photos from the wedding of John and Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding. Wow.

MATT LAUER: Pretty cool.

NATALIE MORALES: Yeah.

7:40 AM ET TEASE:

LAUER: And up next, the first moments of Camelot, never-before-seen images of John and Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding day.

7:45 AM ET SEGMENT:

LAUER: We're back at 7:44 with a stunning series of never-before-seen photographs from the wedding of John and Jacqueline Kennedy that are being auctioned off this month. Here's NBC's Peter Alexander.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New Photos of JFK'S Wedding; Candid Pics to be Sold at Auction]

PETER ALEXANDER: It was one of the most celebrated American weddings of the 20th century, the handsome young senator and his beautiful bride.

EVAN THOMAS: They were better than good looking. They were glamorous and magical.

ALEXANDER: Now more than six decades since Camelot, a never-before-seen glimpse at that historic wedding day, September 12th, 1953. An officer holding back more than 2,000 fans who flocked to St. Mary's Church in Newport, Rhode Island. Senator Kennedy cutting the cake.  

THOMAS: One of the guests at the wedding said that it was a coronation.

BOBBY LIVINGSTON [EXECUTIVE VP OF RR AUCTION]: This is the beginning of Camelot. This is America's version of a royal wedding, it's spectacular.

ALEXANDER: Where did these shots come from?

LIVINGSTON: The descendants of the freelance photographer, the backup photographer of the Kennedy wedding, approached us with these 13 negatives.

ALEXANDER: A Boston auction house made what are believed to be the first-ever prints from a collection of negatives discovered in photographer Arthur Borges' dark room after his death.

LIVINGSTON: Jack and Jackie have just left the chapel and they're glowing. It's just unbelievable that this is left behind.

ALEXANDER: Borges' photographs served as the backups for the Kennedy wedding that Life magazine documented in its pages.

LIVINGSTON: I mean, the ones that were outtakes, they're glowing.

ALEXANDER: These negatives were likely outtakes that never made it to the family. But many of these 13 photos capture candid moments in between posed shots. The negatives are expected to fetch in the thousands of dollars, with the auction ending October 15th.

THOMAS: You would think that we would have seen every Kennedy photo by now. And yet, Americans are still fixated by the Kennedys.

ALEXANDER: All these years later, more enduring images of Camelot emerging from the dark. For Today, Peter Alexander, NBC news, Washington.

TAMRON HALL: It's hard to believe that there are still images that we've not seen.

NATALIE MORALES: Lost to the archives.

HALL: That's amazing.

LAUER: 40 years, 50 years from now, they'll be showing images from George Clooney's wedding that we haven't seen before.

AL ROKER: Yes.

Campaigns & Elections 2014 Congressional Bias by Omission Liberals & Democrats NBC Today Video John F. Kennedy Matt Lauer Peter Alexander Evan Thomas

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