CBS Gushes Over Obama Dumbbell Workout, ABC Fears 'Security Breach,' NBC Ignores Viral Video Altogether

June 4th, 2014 8:50 PM

It's the latest viral video burning up the Internet, the talk of watercooler conversation all over the country today: President Obama looking positively goofy strenuously working out with a set of dumbbells. [I'll pause to let you write your own punchline]

It was video too good to ignore for both ABC's World News and CBS's Evening News, while NBC Nightly News decided to take a pass. Of course, both networks worked in a relatively positive spin for the president, with ABC worrying about and subsequently dismissing the notion of the video being a "security breach" while CBS's Maurice DuBois hailed the president as an disciplined athlete who sleepily hit the gym while on a grueling overseas trip. [See the relevant transcripts below the page break; Listen to MP3 audio here; Video follows page break]



Evening News

June 4, 2014

6:48 p.m. Eastern; 24 seconds

MAURICE DuBOIS, substitute anchor [this immediately followed a story about Triple Crown contender California Chrome]: Well, we got a rare look today at another athlete going through his paces. This video leaked out of Barack Obama exercising his presidential powers in a hotel gym in Warsaw. Fighting off fatigue, the man who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders stays in shape by hoisting dumb bells over his head over his head, and he got in some cardio, too, on an elliptical trainer. 



World News

June 4, 2014

6:30 p.m. Eastern; 16 seconds

DAVID MUIR, substitute anchor: Security breach? President Obama at the G7 Summit meeting with world leaders. So, tonight, why is the world seeing this? Who recorded the president working out at a hotel gym? Who were the strangers in the room? What the White House is saying tonight.


6:37 p.m. Eastern; 1 minute, 39 seconds

MUIR: Now to President Obama, in Europe tonight, day two of a four-day trip. There for the start of the G7 Summit. A high-stakes, high-profile trip as world leaders decide how to handle President Putin. But tonight, new and rare images of the president working out in a hotel gym, strangers right there too, one of them apparently videotaping it all. Who took it, and some are asking tonight, was this a security threat? ABC's chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl traveling with the president tonight.

JONATHAN KARL, reporter: The president is in Europe to flex his muscles on the international stage.

President BARACK OBAMA: We will not accept Russia's occupation of Crimea or its violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.

KARL: But it is this video that has been seen everywhere here, President Obama in a hotel gym in Warsaw exercising his actual muscles. Doing lunges, flies, working his biceps, and doing some cardio. Along with the president there appear to be hotel guests working out as well. One of them apparently shooting this video, briefly including a half-selfie.

The Secret Service tonight says there was no security breach because everybody in the hotel was screened and Secret Service agents were always nearby. They keep the president safe. But it is not their job to confiscate cameras or cell phones.

The Secret Service points out the president frequently makes unscheduled stops, sometimes out to lunch or just last month he was on the Washington Mall surprising tourists. 

MUIR: And Jon is with us, now, live from Brussels tonight. Jon, is the White House at all bothered by these pictures? 

KARL: Oh, they're a little annoyed that these images are out there, David, but they're not really concerned about it. They point out that this is something that the president has done hundreds of times working out in hotel gyms when he travels. This just happens to be the first time that somebody has decided to videotape him working out.  

MUIR: Alright, Jon Karl traveling with the president. Jon, thank you.