Nets Yawn at Midterms, But 'Love' 'Cute' Story of Obama Teasing a Voter

With the Democrats facing bad news in the coming midterms, the networks have largely been ignoring the possible electoral wave. Yet, NBC and CBS couldn't resist the "cute" story of Barack Obama bantering with a woman and her boyfriend on Monday. As the President was getting ready to do early voting in Chicago, a man walked by and told him, "Don't touch my girlfriend." 

Obama shot back, "I really wasn't planning on it." An extended exchange followed. The CBS Evening News on Monday devoted a full report. A clearly impressed Scott Pelley marveled, "Just a little constituent service from the President of the United States." [MP3 audio here.]

CBS This Morning followed-up with co-host Norah O'Donnell laughing and enthusing, "How cute is that? I love it!" NBC's Today offered over two and a half minutes on Monday. 

According to a new report by the Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen and Rich Noyes, the three network evening newscasts loved midterm stories in 2006, when the Republicans were heading for disaster. In 2014, with an unpopular Obama and Democrats in retreat, coverage has plummeted. 

Exceptions to this include when CBS tried to promote "very conservative," "far-right" problems in Kansas. 

A transcript of the October 21 CBS Evening News segment is below: 


SCOTT PELLEY: Voting is not only a civic duty, it can be fun, a chance to socialize with your neighbors. Well, watch as Mike Jones takes that chance with one of his neighbors during early voting in Chicago. Yes, that was Mike Jones, telling the President of the United States to keep his hands off his girlfriend, Aia cooper. 

AIA COOPER: Did he just say that? 

BARACK OBAMA: You know, I really wasn't planning on it. 

COOPER: I'm sorry. Please excuse him. 

OBAMA: I know. Now, there's an example of a brother just embarrassing me for no reason. Just for no reason whatsoever.

COOPER: I knew he was going to say something smart, but I didn't know what he was going to say. 

OBAMA: And now, you'll be going back home and talking to your friends about it. What's his name? 


OBAMA: "I can't believe Mike. He is such a fool." 

COOPER: He really is. 

OBAMA: I was just mortified. Fortunately the President was nice about it,

PELLEY: He was nice about it, but the President couldn't resist a parting shot.

OBAMA: You give me a kiss and give him something to talk about. Now he's really jealous. 

PELLEY: Just a little constituent service from the President of the United States. 

— Scott Whitlock is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Scott Whitlock on Twitter.