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. ALL CAPS

    well, i'm glad i wasted 30 seconds of my life on this..

    February 2, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. bhogan

    If we can only go after Obama for things that he actually said, this is gonna suck.

    February 2, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. Sally

    It was an unfortunate comment, though he was only reading the headline. It's probably one of those "I wished I could pull it back the instant I said it" comments.

    February 2, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. Pete

    Leigh... did you actually READ the article or just the headline.... no thought not...

    And there is a typical example of why the headline is misleading and CNN know it. Idiots like Leigh don't bother to read Obama never actually critsiced Simpson, they just read the headlines.

    BUT the REAL question is why NBC SUnday's transcript added in a word that was never even spoken? These mistakes just don't happen. It changed the whole angle of the story. It was simply a lie, he never said it, why did they say he did??

    February 2, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Butch Dillon

    Great picture, even her teeth look fat!

    February 2, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Jerry Lupu

    It appears that Ms. Simpson is experiencing the same fate as
    many celebrities. She is a strikingly sexy woman, who became rich
    and famous by her celebrity which is based on little, if any, talent.
    In the most American media frenzied way, she is now publicly
    ridiculed for gaining some weight.
    Re: Pres. Obama's comments about the magazine cover, it
    displays the great burden of being President, where every word you
    utter is scrutinized for controversy or scandal.
    None of this is good!

    February 2, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. Rosetta Chapman

    There are people who thrive on creating controversy and misquotes– GET A LIFE!!!! FOR GOD SAKE!!!

    We have a wonderful President, a beautiful First Lady, with two beautiful daughters. Don't hate!!!

    February 2, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  8. Mountain Jeep

    Woohoo, so he was "mistranscripted", give him 40 lashes with a wet noodle. Must be a s-l-o-w news day huh? Page filler again?

    February 2, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. Brenda C

    I watched the video and it doesn't matter if he was reading from the magazine he still should not have said it. It was a dig and he's always trying to come across funny. He knows he doesn't want to get Hollywood angry. He'll never get re-elected!

    February 2, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. Barack Obama Rocks!

    I agree with Brandon. I love our President too. I think President Obama is doing a great job. He did not say anything wrong and was quoted out of context. Stop already with your childish bashing and grow up.

    February 2, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Susan - Tx

    I knew when I heard President Obama repeat that headline that someone would make a big deal out of it. Give me a break.
    Our country is getting close to an economic depression, people are losing jobs right and left and this is all we can talk about?

    February 2, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I WISH THAT'S ALL WE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT! Grow up.

    February 2, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. adonna

    Oh please!! It this is all the "slip up" he would say. I love it. Let's not put "W" missteps on here, because it would be a novel. So....next

    February 2, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. adonna

    Does anybody think that PRESIDENT Obama really cares about Jessica Simpson at all....let along her weight. Next....

    February 2, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. Jane

    He should be impeached!!

    February 2, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. Jean

    When Obama screws up it is a misquote. Only in the corrupt MSM.

    Now sweetie

    You can put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig.

    Typical white person

    February 2, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. Amber

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

    Priceless.

    February 2, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. LLT

    I used to watch your media outlet; ridiculous, misleading headlines and stories like this reconfirm my decision was the right one.

    February 2, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Ray-Man

    Here we go again, the media trying to blow a story out of proportion...'shock and awe'...Let's stick to real news, please.

    February 2, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. CA Indie for Obama

    and this is relevant because of...???

    February 2, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. Peter (CA)

    To the right wing hysterics..but especially to This is CHANGE:

    He just read the headline on the cover; he made no comment of his own, he made no judgment.
    Get a grip.

    February 2, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. BHSDallas

    It was obvious that he was only commenting on the headline. WHy should anyone be offended. More silly media hype. Besides, she is a marginalized public figure...who's looking chubby..and who cares!

    February 2, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  23. joe smith

    yes we know we said it, four times, but did you folks print it once..no..you must be wanting to put it up yourself, can't let a regular man on the street beat you to the punch-line..

    February 2, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  24. Ernie in LA

    This is sooooo stupid.

    February 2, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. Corbett

    Grow Up! And stop waiting fro Bloggers to make news for you!

    February 2, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
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