February 2nd, 2009
10:34 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama takes a dig at Jessica Simpson?

Some thought Obama took a dig at Jessica Simpson.
Some thought Obama took a dig at Jessica Simpson.

(CNN) – Did Barack Obama take a dig at pop star Jessica Simpson?

A transcription error set the Internet abuzz Monday as viewers debated an off-hand presidential comment about the pop star.

The remark came at the end of the President Obama's interview with NBC Sunday, when interviewer Matt Lauer held up a copy of the latest US Magazine, which features first lady Michelle Obama along with daughters Sasha and Malia. On the left side of the cover was a picture of Simpson, whom the magazine said is in a "weight battle."

Lauer noted the magazine had replaced the president's spot in the family photo with the Simpson headline.

“You got replaced by Jessica Simpson,” Lauer said.

“Yeah, who’s losing a weight battle apparently,” Obama said, according to the network’s interview transcript, sparking a firestorm online. “Yeah. Oh, well.”

But the transcript misquoted the president who visibly only re-read the magazine’s headline that Lauer was holding up - “She’s in a ‘weight battle,’ apparently” - and did not say that Simpson was "losing" that fight.

In the future, the president may opt for safer, less controversial subjects — like government-funded contraception, or the U.S. relationship with Iran.


Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. HopeWon2008

    Wow, I think we all need to take a deep breath and relax. He read the caption, what's the big deal? We have some serious issues facing us and all the Obama haters can come up with is this? You guys really need to chill. Let's work together to get our economy moving again.

    February 2, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Turner

    Hmmmm. We are in for trouble if everything that comes out of the POTUS's mouth is met with scrutiny. He simply read the headline which exclaimed "Weight Trouble" and says, "apparently she is having weight issues" as he was looking at the headline. That is not a "diss". That is called "reading 101". C'mon people! If the headline read "pregnant issues" and he exclaims "apparently she is having pregant issues" would that somehow bring negative attention? HE FREAKIN SIMPLY READ THE COVER

    February 2, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Norm

    Truth B Told February 2nd, 2009 6:00 pm ET

    If he was so worried about looks he would take something for that little wormy body of his. Or be concerned about Michelle's hip's that apparently require their own zip code.

    you should worry less about Michelle's hips and more about your own ugly insides

    February 2, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. joel

    It seems he read something from the cover and the public has chosen to make it mean something more.

    POTUS was not trying to insult Jessica Simpson. There are scores and scores of problems to be resolved, he does not have time to engage in insults of women. After all, he has a wife and 2 daughters, right? Let us stop looking for the negative, meaness, and hatefuness in every single thing.

    February 2, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Give me a break. T

    February 2, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. Simmy

    ***********************************************************************
    Leigh, Truth B Told, Michael, etc.,

    Read before you type. I heard the interview, and I clearly heard him say "she's in a weight battle, apparently." The person who wrote the misquote is someone looking to boost his/her career, or something more abstract. The fact that there is so much scrutiny placed on President Obama's administration says more about bias, propaganda, and ratings than is does about the President. He is not perfect. No one in his administration is perfect; and neither are any of you. If you had spent more time vetting and opposing President Bush's administration, we might not be in such dire straights. Refrain yourselves from mediocrity.
    *************************************************************************

    February 2, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Jimmy

    Making a mountain out of a mole hill. Right wing nut jobs looking for any reason to attempt to turn people against Obama. For the record, she is quite nasty now, but pretty much the symbol for obese america. She can't act, she can't sing, the only thing she has going for her WAS that body. She's throwing away her only money maker! Better get it in shape tubby!

    February 2, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. #7

    Reading a headline from a magazine is in no way the same as expressing ones opinion, wow I'm not a journalist an even I know that much.

    February 2, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Give me a break. He was only reading the headline out loud. It doesn't mean that he agreed with it. Anyone who can't understand that isn't very bright.

    February 2, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. Jelly

    This is heinous. Let's move on to the more important things...

    February 2, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. Jeanne

    CNN: Why are yu reporting on this when the Republicans are trying to shoot the stimulus package down. We do not care about this subject you are reporting on, we need to do something to put people back to work.

    February 2, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. no to corporate politics

    He ran on the Messiah Platform to get votes. As a result we will all watch his smallest fault. It was Obama's call......

    February 2, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. Sharon L

    Everyday I marvel at the sensationalism and catty gossip that seems to have taken over for real news... The US has one of the most irresponsible media in the "free" world... not too mention it seems completely morally bancrupt...I hope things get better...for the past oh, I don't know, say 7 or 8 years the news in this country sounds more like The Jerry Springer Show and we are forced to check everything we hear... SAD

    February 2, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. tom

    LMAO

    February 2, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. Prof. X

    Brandon from Ohio February 2nd, 2009 5:58 pm ET

    I find it amusing. I watched that interview. It was 100% meaningless. Just another Republican-leaning CNN article trying to blow something up out of nothing. More of the same. Sounds like something that would be on Campbell Brown's show.

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - =- -

    Dude, seriously? CNN Republican leaning? Really? You have got to be kidding me. Thats why they shut down articles that are negative about dems after 30 postings and anything with Sarah Palin stays open to let 600 libs take pot-shots, right?

    February 2, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. Steve

    Let us not forget, people, that she was an outspoken McCain supporter, and also a very anti-PETA person (Pam Anderson called her a bad name for the shirt she wore saying "Real Women Eat Meat"). He probably did not mean anything by it, but I wonder if he would have said it had Barbara Streisand been on the cover.... Or better yet, the lead singer for the Dixie Chicks, or any other vocal Obama supporter. Makes you wonder...

    February 2, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. PS

    Honestly, is this worth posting as news on CNN? In case you haven't noticed, there are more important things going on...

    February 2, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Matt

    Please distract me more from the core issues. I like the diversions, they make me feel safe inside my little bubble.

    February 2, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. Kevin

    This is totally ridiculous...

    February 2, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. Victoria

    Who cares!!

    February 2, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. American

    BS!...Matt Lauer went out of his way to say the remark was quoted from the cover headline of the magazine but yet we get this MSMedia crap

    February 2, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. Steve

    C'mon CNN! There are over 7 Billion people on the planet, with thousands and thousands of stories and crisis' . And the best you can come up with is a misquote from a bad transcript?
    What is with you guys? There's no excuse for such bad journalism.

    February 2, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. Pam

    I did not vote for the man. I disagree with him on many issues.
    With that said..... I really think it was an innocent comment. The press is looking for a story that is not there.

    February 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. Brenda

    Rule to live by.... 5lbs for every inch over 5 foot. I'm 5'5 and I go between 120 125 and refuse to go over 125. I allow myself that 5lb window for you know, that time of the month LOL

    February 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  25. Merman Hunster

    There will be no end to the fabrication of negative stories about President Obama. Somehow, the press now feel its obligation to be creative by inventing controversy. No help with the press in edifying and educating the public on our current problems when the cheap shot is so easy to inventl.

    February 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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