CBS's Smith Jokes About Media Bias; Asks Obama About Dog, Golf Game
In the final portion of his interview with President Obama aired on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, Harry Smith mocked the idea of media bias: "People in the mainstream media have been accused of being afraid to speak truth to power and I've got - I've got some truth to power for you right now...I've been observing, your dog looks like he's out of control."
Smith prefaced that softball question by joking: "When you're President of the United States, you must be prepared for any question." In response, Obama laughed and remarked: "Bo's a - you know, he's a teenager, he's a puppy still...But I would not want just a calm, passive dog. I want a dog with a little bit of spirit."
As the interview was wrapping up, Smith made sure to get in one final pressing question: "Golf, what does it do for you?" The President admitted: " First of all, I'm terrible." Smith commiserated: "I'm horrible. Worst thing I ever started, best thing I've ever done." Obama went on to explain: "It is the only time that, for six hours, first of all, that I'm outside. And second of all, where you almost feel normal, in the sense that you're not in a bubble...it feels as if, you know, you're out of the container."
During the portion of the interview that aired on CBS Sunday Morning on Father's Day, Smith asked the "father-in-chief": "where did you learn to love?"
A transcript of the segment was obtained from video posted on cbsnews.com since the Early Show was preempted by local news coverage of the Metro train crash on the Washington D.C. CBS affiliate WUSA9. This story was also cross-posted with NewsBuster's Mark Finkelstein, who transcribed the same segment from his perch in Ithaca, New York.
Here is the full transcript of the portion of the interview aired on Tuesday:
HARRY SMITH: Now more of our exclusive interview with President Obama. Recently we sat down in the Map Room of the White House and after going over the day's headlines, I asked the President about life both inside and beyond the Oval Office. What do you most wish you knew before you came to the White House?
BARACK OBAMA: I - you know, I'm not sure that you can ever anticipate what the pace of this is like. I - I think that by the time I actually was sworn in, we had a pretty clear sense of the magnitude of the financial crisis. And I have to tell you - there - we've made mistakes, and we'll make some more. I mean, we made some mistakes early on around appointments, and, you know, there were some other issues there, in terms of how we rolled out the bank stress test, etc. Overall, though, I think you look at our track record over the last five months, under some fairly extraordinary circumstances, we have, I think, been extraordinarily productive. But we're not satisfied. We've got a lot of work to do.
SMITH: When you're President of the United States, you must be prepared for any question. People in the mainstream media have been accused of being afraid to speak truth to power and I've got - I've got some truth to power for you right now.
OBAMA: Okay, go ahead.
SMITH: I've been observing, your dog looks like he's out of control.
OBAMA (Laughing): Bo - Bo's a - you know, he's a teenager, he's a puppy still. And - he - he, every once in a while, does get a little frisky. But I would not want just a calm, passive dog. I want a dog with a little bit of spirit. And he definitely has some spirit. He's a smart dog, though. And - and he has a good temperament. You know, he is - he is very friendly and fun loving. But - but when he gets out on the south lawn sometimes - when he breaks loose, it's - it's tough to catch up with him.
SMITH: As the President was being rushed to his next appointment, I had a chance to ask him about golf. He's gone golfing seven times since he took office. Presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to Bill Clinton have often sought refuge on the links - and, perhaps, now we know why. Golf, what does it do for you?
OBAMA: First of all, I'm terrible.
SMITH: I'm horrible. Worst thing I ever started, best thing I've ever done.
OBAMA: It is the only time that, for six hours, first of all, that I'm outside. And second of all, where you almost feel normal, in the sense that you're not in a bubble. There are a whole bunch of Secret Service guys, but they're sort of in the woods. And when you're up there in the tee box and you're hacking away, and hitting some terrible shot and your friends are laughing at you, you know, it feels as if, you know, you're out of the container.
-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.