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. NC

    Enough with all of the fluffy interviews............DO THE JOB THAT THE PEOPLE ELECTED YOU TO DO.............

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

    wow keep it away from obama have something else to report cnn

    February 2, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. EW

    I like this guy. Calls it the way he sees it or reads it. Too many politicians are wooden.

    February 2, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. Happy Smiley

    CNN, please report responsibly. You KNOW that there are still tons of angry, moronic republicans who will use BS like the above as an excuse to spew purely hateful about Obama, his wife and blacks in general.

    February 2, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. Donna

    Anyone that WATCHED the interview heard what he said..he was reading the headline..he never said that she was "losing" anything...try again...sad!!

    February 2, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Richard

    I think people that hate paying taxes are the perfect people to bring about change to the system.

    February 2, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. betsy

    These comments can't be serious, right? OBVIOUSLY President Obama was poking fun at the magazine and the media and their obsession with "weight battles", NOT Jessica Simpson.

    February 2, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. Franky

    For the love of God...lose some weight girl!!

    Ohh geez, I can't bare to look, my eyes are covered with acid...LOL!

    February 2, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  9. M Paul

    This man is a very good father and husband. He respects women because he is surrounding by them since he was born. CNN don't start. Why don't you report from Gaza where children and wome are killed and Congo where women are raped every single day by the people in power?

    February 2, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Mike- Kansas City MO

    Can we get some news that actually matters.

    This is ridiculous.

    February 2, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Sye the Pychic

    This story has no merit.Lets fix the deficit by getting to and cleaning out all the untaxed cash the rich have in offshore banks right now.We could fix everything in four days.

    February 2, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. Kevin

    Headline: Tells of sensational story!
    Article: Says the opposite of what the headline implies.
    Journalism: Takes another step back.

    February 2, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Speider

    This is the lead Ticker story? What happened to the Wall Street CEOs who stole $18 billion of our bailout money? Not worth the digital ink anymore?

    February 2, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. JD in NC

    You can cover for him anyway you want to just like you did throughout the entire campain. You got him elected with biased reporting.

    As far as the interview in question goes , I saw it, he made a joke and he laughed after he said it. This was no big deal until you made it one. She has gained weight, is a public figure, and is air game but don't insult my intelligence with YOUR spin.

    February 2, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. roberto

    He read the headline. She is turning into a porker. Trust me this guy you people elected is no saint, so just get it out of your mind.

    February 2, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. Carole

    Shame on you for the headline for this CNN.....talking out both sides of your mouth on this one....you know for a fact that he was misquoted but yet you pose a question to get everyones attention...Shameful on your part...

    February 2, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. Sean

    I only really worry about important stuff.

    February 2, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Pat

    Why is this news.

    February 2, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. See Thru.

    Leigh and Bob... who said anything about race? Just stop.

    Does anyone actually Read these days or just look at headlines and photos???

    This is what you call a NON-ISSUE.

    February 2, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. whatever

    I did watch the interview and the President did say it! I laughed my butt off!! So he read the headline, leave it to the media and the oversensitive hollywood to get bent. There are more serious issues to worry about then what head the presiden is going to read on air. He read the headline from US Weekly ....why is no one trashing US Weekly for printing the headline??? I thought the interview was good and showed the Presdident's sense of humor..As for Jessica, who the heck cares....her daddy will fix everything...UGH!!!!

    February 2, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. PL

    CNN is certainly NOT right leaning.
    There is nothing wrong reporting a transcription error, except that CNN ticker cannot help to enjoy the stir of emotions from people who love to comment on news that are about people and not about policy, which does not require intellectual thinking.
    Look at the long list of postings against Sarah Palin, or Bush, or even Hilary.
    There is nothing improper with what the president said, reading the magazine headline as Laurer showed it.
    I am not even a democrat.

    February 2, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. bill

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

    hahah that is too funny.

    February 2, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. Glenda, PA

    LOL, I think our president is so funny and so sincere. He absolutely didn't mean to insult Jessica Simpson. He was simply reading the magazine headline. Ha ha...how cute.

    February 2, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  24. Franky

    Booo, lose some weight! Good lord just look at that...

    February 2, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. joe

    if bush did this, there would be an uproar..be honest with ourselves

    February 2, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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