CBS 'Early Show' Touts 2nd Grader's Get Well Card to Bill Clinton
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez reported on a 7-year-old boy who tried to hand deliver a get well card to former President Bill Clinton: "When Bill Clinton returned home from the hospital after a heart procedure on Friday, there were lots of reporters waiting, and one second grader named C.J. Williams, who just wanted to get a get well card to him and some candy."
Throughout the fawning segment, a headline on-screen read: "Get Well Soon, Mr. President; 2nd Grader Attempts To Deliver Message to Clinton." However, while the story suggested that C.J. came up with the idea on his own, when Rodriguez asked "Was that your idea, C.J.? Did you want to do it?," the boy replied: "No, Dad." Rodriguez added: "Oh, it was Dad's idea." The father, Chip Williams, was in studio and had explained: "...we thought it would be a good idea to maybe swing by his house and drop off a card, a little get well card."
Both Rodriguez and co-host Harry Smith lamented C.J.'s inability to deliver the card personally, but Rodriguez did inform viewers it was a Snoopy card and read it aloud: "Would a happy little dance make you feel a little better? In that case, maybe I should do a great big happy dance." Smith was in awe: "Wow."
Smith went on to encourage C.J. to read a handwritten portion of the card: "Here, turn it around. Can you read the part that you wrote?" C.J. obliged: "Dear President Clinton. Happy Valentine's Day. I hope you feel better soon. Here is a little heart to make your big heart feel better. Your friend, C.J. Williams." Rodriguez had earlier explained that C.J. had a small heart-shaped box of Skittles for the former president. She concluded the interview by remarking: "That's such a nice gesture and I'm sure he's going to love it."
It was not the first time CBS used children to celebrate Democratic politicians. In May of last year, correspondent Bill Whitaker did a story on a book of school children's letters to President Obama. On the May 4 Evening News, Whitaker showed several of the letters featured and declared it was "A book full of young hopes and dreams."
Here is part of Early Show interview with C.J. Williams:
HARRY SMITH: So you have the card there. Did you pick it - did you guys pick out the card together? C.J. WILLIAMS: Yeah.
SMITH: Yeah. Can we see - can we look at it? Do you mind if we take a look at it?
CHIP WILLIAMS: Who picked it out, buddy?
CHIP: That's right, C.J. did.
SMITH: Let's see what you got there.
RODRIGUEZ: Let's see.
SMITH: Oh, oh, let's show it to the camera.
RODRIGUEZ: Nice. Snoopy.
SMITH: What does it say?
RODRIGUEZ: Would a happy little dance make you feel a little better?
SMITH: Oh, very nice.
RODRIGUEZ: In that case, maybe I should do a great big happy dance.
CHIP: You want to read it C.J.?
SMITH: Here, turn it around. Can you read the part that you wrote?
CHIP: Maybe President Clinton's watching.
SMITH: Yeah, you never know.
CHIP: You want to read it to him, go ahead.
C.J.: Dear President Clinton. Happy Valentine's Day. I hope you feel better soon. Here is a little heart to make your big heart feel better. Your friend, C.J. Williams.
RODRIGUEZ: That's great, C.J.
SMITH: How cute is that?
RODRIGUEZ: So how are you going to get it to him now, do you have another plan?
CHIP: What do you think?
C.J.: Yeah. When we walk around in the city, me and dad are going to find his office and try to give it to him there.
SMITH: It's right up on 125th street. You can't miss it.
CHIP: And if not, we've put together a little letter that we're going to put in the mail tomorrow for him.
SMITH: Oh, very good.
RODRIGUEZ: Oh, great. That's such a nice gesture and I'm sure he's going to love it. Thanks, C.J. Thanks, Chip.
-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.