On Tuesday's NBC Today, news reader Natalie Morales warned viewers: "With a potential government shutdown looming later on this month, the White House may have to cancel its annual Easter Egg Roll." In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker added that the "event might be in jeopardy....due to the ongoing budget battles here in Washington." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While Welker simply repeated administration talking points without skepticism, she completely ignored the fact that just days ago, during a Fox News interview on March 15, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney testily told anchor Jenna Lee that while tours of the executive mansion had been cancelled, the Easter Egg Roll was safe: "Well actually, Jenna, again, if you did a little reporting...it's paid for by the sale of those eggs that come out, as well as from donations on the outside, so it's a totally different budget. These are apples and oranges."
After quoting a portion of the White House memo on the Easter Egg Roll, Welker noted the cancellation of daily tours "due to the sequester, those deep across-the-board spending cuts that Congress failed to avert." Notice that President Obama did not share any of the blame in her assessment.
She concluded that "members of Congress already griping about the possibility" of the egg roll being shut down.
Morales remarked: "Al Roker looks forward to that event every year, so let's hope they can get it together."
Here is a full transcript of Welker's March 19 report:
NATALIE MORALES: With a potential government shutdown looming later on this month, the White House may have to cancel its annual Easter Egg Roll. NBC's White House correspondent Kristen Welker joins us with more. Kristen, good morning.
[ON-SCREEN: Bunny Meets Budget; Will White House Easter Egg Roll Be Cancelled?]
KRISTEN WELKER: Natalie, good morning to you. The 135th Easter Egg Roll is slated for April 1st, but now it appears as though that event might be in jeopardy. On Friday, the White House sent out a memo to members of Congress warning that due to the ongoing budget battles here in Washington the event might have to be canceled. Here's a little part of the memo, it reads, quote, "If canceled, the event will not be rescheduled."
Now this all comes on the heels of the White House canceling tours here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue due to the sequester, those deep across-the-board spending cuts that Congress failed to avert. Now, each member of Congress gets to invite four family members, a lot of members of Congress already griping about the possibility. Natalie.
MORALES: Alright, Kristen Welker. Al Roker looks forward to that event every year, so let's hope they can get it together. Thank you.