The common, everyday act of swatting a bug is something that happens
countless times a day at picnics and ball games across the country,
especially during the summer, but when Barack Obama was caught on tape
by CNBC's cameras doing it, the fawning liberal press couldn't contain
their excitement. All three broadcast network morning shows, on
Wednesday, praised the presidential kill as they were impressed by the "ninja" Obama's "precision," and "cat-like quickness."[audio available here ]
On NBC's Today show, substitute-host David Gregory opened the show declaring: "You just have to appreciate the, the concentration and the precision! Just a few things going on in the world but it's as if everything was stopped and at a standstill for the President to lower the boom." On CBS's The Early Show, Chris Wragge marveled: "We've also just confirmed the President is a Ninja." And on ABC's Good Morning America, they even brought out the Telestrator to break down the video as Chris Cuomo offered play-by-play: "You see? He stares at the fly. How many times have each of us tried to do this? Look at the hand coming up. The poise. The cupping. And the quick slap...Just knocked it away, very rare."
The following exchanges were aired on the June 17 editions of NBC's Today show, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's The Early Show:
MEREDITH VIEIRA: And bug off! President Obama takes aim at a pesky fly during an interview with CNBC.
(Begin clip of Obama swatting fly.)
JOHN HARWOOD: Nice!
VIEIRA: And now it's on to other pressing matters buzzing around the White House today, Wednesday June 17th, 2009.
DAVID GREGORY: You just have to appreciate the, the concentration and the precision! Just a few things going on in the world but it's as if everything was stopped and at a standstill for the President to lower the boom.
MEREDITH VIEIRA: But see I thought he was the kind of guy who would never hurt a fly.
GREGORY: Yeah well apparently he-
VIEIRA: Apparently not.
GREGORY: -wanted to shore up his, his credentials of being a tough guy there.
VIEIRA: Exactly, exactly.
MEREDITH VIEIRA: Well some may question his policies but no one can question President Obama's precision. Take a look at what happened when a pesky fly got on the President's nerves last night during an interview with CNBC's John Harwood.
BARACK OBAMA: Hey get out of here!
JOHN HARWOOD: That's the most persistent fly I've ever seen! Nice!
OBAMA: Now, where were we? That was pretty impressive wasn't it? I got, I got the sucker. Right there. You want to film that? There it is.
VIEIRA: Oh don't mess with him. Jeez! Look how neat he is though, the President. Takes his fly and left.
DAVID GREGORY: They left it there for the balance of the interview. Just as-, it's like a scene from Goodfellas! You know? It's like "You're not so tough now, are you little fly? You want to mess with the President of the United States?"
VIEIRA: It's, it's like a subtle, subtle warning to the Republicans.
GREGORY: It is imp-, it would have taken me four days to kill that fly, you know?
GREGORY: I mean it's, that's not easy.
GREGORY: So good for him.
VIEIRA: Good for him, alright.
ABC's Good Morning America
CHRIS CUOMO: All right. Some in depth analysis here. We all know about President Obama and the fly. But some background. Maybe you do have to be better than the rest of us to be president. Do you remember President Bush with the shoes in Iraq? Remember that? [Video of Bush dodging the shoes in Iraq plays.] A little reminder video, please. Can't hit him. Try again. Can't hit him. You know? They couldn't hit him. Cat-like quickness. Now, President Obama seems to demonstrate the same thing. The video of him with the fly in the interview. Let's take a look.
ROBIN ROBERTS: Ooh, Telestrator. Please.
CUOMO: Start rolling the tape.
SAM CHAMPION: Ooh, Telestrator, Chris.
(Cuomo narrates video and provides telestrator graphics too.)
CUOMO: He's looking. He raises his hand. He does not have- boom. Boom. Give me some. Give me some touch here.
ROBERTS (Making fun of Cuomo's Telestrating abilities): You're not quick enough.
CHAMPION: I honestly-
CUOMO: You see? He stares at the fly. How many times have each of us tried to do this? Look at the hand coming up. The poise. The cupping. And the quick slap. If you can see, that's his lapel. What a nice lapel. That's an America pin.
CHAMPION: You know-
CUOMO: Forget it.
CHAMPION: No, no. This part is more entertaining than the actual clip.
CUOMO: The idea is that he's very quick. See Cuomo struggle with any type of dexterity where the President has cat-like quickness, just like President Bush did. But grabbing a fly, killing a fly- Let's say he didn't. Just knocked it away, very rare.
DIANE SAWYER: Yes. No fly died in the making of that interview.
CHAMPION: Was unharmed. And it walked away.
ROBERTS: And he kept on right on with the interview.
CUOMO: He did say, though, that was pretty cool. May lose a point there.
SAWYER: Do we think we could get him to come in a do the Telestrator the next time through?
CUOMO (Trying to use Telestrator again): Let's try anything. There's the President's head. There's president. The hand comes up.
CHAMPION: Okay. Clear it.
CUOMO: Now, he swings down. Let him swing down.
CHAMPION: Now, stop it. Pause the video.
CUOMO: And we see the hand. The reporter's impressed, but slow. And the fly is okay. It's over here, telling its friends it just met Obama.
CBS's The Early Show
CHRIS WRAGGE: And did you hear the one about the President and the fly? Take a look at this. The President was being interviewed by CNBC yesterday when a fly buzzed in and actually landed on the President's hand, which turned out to be its last mistake.
BARACK OBAMA: That was pretty impressive wasn't it? I got it, I got the sucker.
WRAGGE: Yes, the president did and the evidence was right there on the White House carpet. We've also just confirmed the President is a Ninja.
DAVE PRICE: Did not-
PRICE: Did not know that.
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Is PETA upset?
WRAGGE: We'll find out later today.
DAVE PRICE: Well, this is the first - this is the first expose on bugging in Washington since - since Watergate.
RODRIGUEZ: Oh, nice, Dave. This is why you get paid the big bucks.
WRAGGE: Very good, like that. I like my ninja line a little better, but that was good.
PRICE: That's right.
RODRIGUEZ: No, he won. He won that one, Wraggs.
WRAGGE: You think?
HARRY SMITH: I'd love to be a fly on the wall.
SMITH: Just stop, just stop.
RODRIGUEZ: I've got nothing.
RODRIGUEZ: Alright guys, thank you.
-Geoffrey Dickens is the senior news analyst at the Media Research Center.