The three networks may see themselves as brave, skeptical truth tellers. But when powerful Democrats have something they want out, the hosts and reporters shift into total PR hack mode. On Friday and Monday, CBS and NBC each touted their “exclusive” clips of the new Michelle Obama podcast. That multiple networks seemed to have these “exclusives” didn’t seem to bother anyone.
On Friday, Today’s Carson Daly gushed, “This morning we have a first look at the series trailer.” On Monday, the talking press release repeated himself: “We got an exclusive for you.... Tomorrow marks the launch of her first ever podcast, simply titled the Michelle Obama Podcast. The former first lady will be sitting down with guests of all types.” Introducing a clip of Michelle Obama talking to Barack Obama, he echoed, “We have got an exclusive clip for you.”
On Monday’s CBS This Morning, reporter Vlad Duthiers incorrectly used the word exclusive: “This morning, we are getting an exclusive early listen.... We're getting an early listen to a conversation between former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama on her new Spotify podcast.”
Maybe these journalists don’t understand what the word exclusive means. According to Merriam-Webster, it’s “limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group.”
Unsurprisingly, Gayle King reacted to a podcast of the Obamas talking to each other (something we’ve seen multiple times over the last decade) as a revelation:
I am so here for it! Number one, I love the picture of the two of them together! It’s so relaxed and so intimate. When you listen to the two of them talking, you do feel like they are having a conversation with each other and we're just listening in. I think John Tower has it right. Good get, big get, smart get. Whatever if it was a hard get for her to do. I can't wait to hear it. I love all of it!
King is a Democratic donor. She attended then-President Obama’s birthday party and vacationed with the family. The co-host also lobbied for liberal Oprah Winfrey to run for president in 2020 against Donald Trump.
On Friday’s Good Morning America, Lara Spencer didn't use the word "exclusive." But she still played video of the Obamas talking to each other: “Let’s just say, it’s the perfect person to kick off the inaugural episode.”
Partial transcripts are below.
CARSON DALY: First up in pop start, we got an exclusive for you. As we mentioned last week, Michelle Obama taking on a whole new venture. Tomorrow marks the launch of her first ever podcast, simply titled the Michelle Obama Podcast. The former first lady will be sitting down with guests of all types, celebrities like Conan O'Brien, friends and mentors like Valerie Jarrett. But tomorrow’s debut episode will feature non other than President Barack Obama. We have got an exclusive clip for you. Check it out. The former president and first lady talking about how as a young boy Barack would try to stay out of trouble, sometimes unsuccessfully.
BARACK OBAMA: When we were growing up, everybody raised everybody's kids. If I was messing up, Ms. Smith down the street, she would see me messing up. She would scold me. Then when I got home I might get whooped, as Ms. Smith would have called my mom.
MICHELLE OBAMA: “How dare you have Ms. Smith calling you and you were on her grass and you had the nerve to talk about boy. Boy.”
CBS This Morning
VLAD DUTHIERS: This morning we are getting an exclusive early listen. That’s pretty good. We're getting an early listen to a conversation between former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama on her new Spotify podcast. As John Tower our producer in the control room said “that's a really good get.” The couple discusses concerns about turnout among young voters. Take a listen.
MICHELLE OBAMA: The thing I worry is that I hear, I think too many young people who question whether voting, whether politics is worth it.
BARACK OBAMA: Partly because they have been told the message is sent every day that government doesn't work.
MICHELLE OBAMA: There's really no structure to market government, right? I mean the average young person knows far more about the cereal they are eating and the car they are driving than they do about what government actually does for them because they don't have a marketing budget, they don't have a jingle.
BARACK OBAMA: Only time they know what government is doing is when it’s not doing it.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Is when it doesn’t work. Right
BARACK OBAMA: So we have a good lesson in that right now.
GAYLE KING: Whoaaaa!
DUTHIERS: The first one drops tomorrow on Spotify, Gayle. They are keeping it clean and I'm here for it, Gayle King.
KING: I am so here for it! Number one, I love the picture of the two of them together! It’s so relaxed and so intimate. When you listen to the two of them talking, you do feel like they are having a conversation with each other and we're just listening in. I think John Tower has it right. Good get, big get, smart get. Whatever if it was a hard get for her to do. I can't wait to hear it. I love all of it!