ABC's de Nies Swears: Michelle Obama's 'Work Here Is Done' With 'Emotional' Olympic Appeal
Published: 10/2/2009 5:58 PM ET
On Friday, just hours before the International Olympic Committee rejected Barack Obama's appeal for Chicago to be awarded the 2016 Olympic games, ABC's Yunji de Nies swore that Michelle Obama and her husband thrilled the crowd. She enthused, "Their work here is done. They are on their way home. The presentation was everything they promised, emotional, heartfelt, energetic."
On Thursday, de Nies prognosticated this about Mrs. Obama's address to IOC members in Copenhagen: "We're told there won't be a dry eye in the house by the time she's done." Now, video of the First Lady's address mostly featured shots of Michelle Obama, but there didn't appear to be any audible wailing and crying in the audience.
On Friday, de Nies hyperbolically said of the First Lady's speech, "She told them, she's dreaming big." The ABC correspondent uncritically parroted, "The First Lady then passed the baton to her husband, who talked about his own historic election and America's desire to inspire."
Considering that the Obamas failed in their quest to bring home the Olympics, will de Nies file a report about how the "emotional," crying-inducing speeches did not succeed?
A transcript of the October 2 segment, which aired at 7:07am EDT, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: Turning now to the Olympics. President Obama already on his way home. Leaving Copenhagen, Denmark, this morning after flying there to make one, final pitch to the International Olympic Committee, which will decide this afternoon, who will host the 2016 summer Olympics. And back in the Windy City, people have been gathering, hoping they're going to get to celebrate this afternoon. For the President, though, some big political stakes. And for all of it, ABC's Yunji de Nies this morning from Copenhagen. Yunji?-Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center.
YUNJI DE NIES: Good morning, Diane. Their work here is done. They are on their way home. The presentation was everything they promised, emotional, heartfelt, energetic. But will it be enough? In the final hour, the President arrived, to tell the world why his adopted hometown should host the 2016 summer games.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Choose Chicago for the same reason I chose Chicago nearly 25 years ago. The reason I fell in love with the city I still call home.
DE NIES: Team Chicago highlighted those reasons in a colorful, multimedia presentation. Michelle Obama, dressed in Olympic gold, went first, with an intensely personal pitch. She spoke with passion about the para-Olympic games and her father's battle with multiple sclerosis.
MICHELLE OBAMA: If he could have witnessed athletes who compete and excel and prove that something is more powerful than the human spirit, I know it would have restored in him the same sense of unbridled possibility that he instilled in me.
DE NIES: She told them, she's dreaming big.
MICHELLE OBAMA: And I am dreaming of an Olympic and paralympic games, in Chicago, that will light up lives and neighborhoods all across America. And all across the world.
DE NIES: The First Lady then passed the baton to her husband, who talked about his own historic election and America's desire to inspire.
BARACK OBAMA: The nation that has been shaped by people from around the world wants a chance to inspire it once more. To ignite the spirit of possibility at the heart of the Olympic and paralympic movement.
DE NIES: He closed with a promise.
BARACK OBAMA: If we walk this path together, then I promise you this: The city of Chicago and the United States of America, will make the world proud.
DE NIES: The President pressed the flesh before leaving. And said he had just one regret.
BARACK OBAMA: To follow Michelle, that's always bad.
DE NIES: Now, Oprah Winfrey, who was such a big part of this lobbying effort, did not present today. Though, she was in the audience. The vote is going to come when the President is still flying in the air, back home. And so, the White House says they're doing everything they can, Diane, to make sure satellite television is working on Air Force One.