As Obama Admits 'We Don't Have a Strategy' in Syria, Nets Obsess Over President's Suit
Although all three networks covered Barack Obama's admission on Thursday that "we don't have a strategy" for responding to Islamic militants in Syria, ABC, CBS and NBC journalists were really animated by the President's tan suit. GMA news reader Amy Robach on Friday enthused, "Finally this morning, some presidential critics are saying, 'yes, we tan!'" [MP3 audio here.]
Over on NBC's Today, Dylan Dreyer lectured Twitter on the superficiality of such a topic: "President Obama had a very important press conference. He was talking about all sorts of world issues. So of course social media was focused on those world issues, right? Of course not. They were focused on his tan suit." Dreyer mocked Twitter in the midst of NBC's obsessing about the suit.
It must also be asked: Is there anything more hypocritical than a morning show journalist decrying superficiality? NBC and ABC heavily traffic in cat videos and endless fashion segments.
Co-anchor Matt Lauer remarked, "He's a really good dresser, but I don't think the tan was the problem."
GMA's Lara Spencer echoed Dreyer and lectured, "I think [Obama] was not really thinking about the color suit he was wearing." ABC meteorologist Ginger Zee weighed in and agreed, "Probably concerned about some other things."
Over on CBS This Morning, Anthony Mason approved, "I think the President wore it well." Co-anchor Gayle King marveled, "I do too and I'm thinking we're not used to seeing him in such a light suit."
On Thursday, the NBC Nightly News led with Joan Rivers's health scare before moving on to ISIS and Obama's admission at the news conference.
A partial transcript of the August 29 Today segment is below:
DYLAN DREYER: On Thursday, President Obama had a very important press conference. He was talking about all sorts of world issues. So of course social media was focused on those world issues, right? Of course not. They were focused on his tan suit. #Tansuit started trending all across Twitter. And we were seeing some really hilarious tweets coming in. Mashable's Brian says Obama says "something something tan suit something tan tan tan something suit." And also on Mashable, Annie says, "Breaking: Obama attends beach wedding." He sure did. So, everybody was waiting for the next post to come in and Andrew from BuzzFeed posts, "Obama is doing his next press conference in Pharrell's hat." So, we were certainly seeing a whole bunch of stuff and we also had a lot of parody accounts. @BarackTanSuits says Yes, we tan. But you guys, you're kind of a fan of the tan suits.
TAMRON HALL: So, what was the problem with the President's suit?
MATT LAUER: Well, Willie said [Everyone starts laughing]– We all thought it didn't fit the way some of his other suits fit.
AL ROKER: You're going to like the way you look, I guarantee it.
LAUER: He's a really good dresser, but I don't think the tan was the problem.
HALL: The tailoring was off.
GEIST: I love the tan.
— Scott Whitlock is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Scott Whitlock on Twitter.