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

Obama takes a dig at Jessica Simpson?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.simpsonj.gi.jpg caption="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. Cory, MD

    He was only simply repeating what the headline said and did not say it directing it towards Jessica Simpson. This is meaningless & stupid.

    February 2, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. Matt

    LOL...he reads the headline verbatim, gets misquoted and the GOPers come out with verbal wiffle-bats a-swingin'...too good.

    February 2, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. gotcommonsense

    Who cares. I'm a conservative and I even agree that he was clearly reiterating the headline. Let's get serious here America and discuss the real issues that are affecting our liberty.

    February 2, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Mike

    We are so done as a nation. I read the first 13 comments and it is pretty obvious that either most of you people are too lazy to read the article before commenting or just can't read (and comprehend). Either way, it is pretty sad.

    February 2, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. Observant

    No real news

    February 2, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. James in Dallas, Tx

    Shame on Matt Lauer for wasting the President's time with a question about Jessica Simpson. The President will not do interviews if these are the types of trivial, irrelevant questions he is asked. Shame on CNN for using a headline which misleadingly blames Obama for the transcription error by NBC.

    February 2, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. ClaudeTX

    I saw the interview– and he was just reading the headline from the magazine. He was not making a direct comment. Come on CNN– this is not news

    February 2, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. Mike Dallas

    Oh so it was ok to compare him to Paris and Linsay and make them out to a notch above whale s**t but if he says something he is some type of orge? What hypocrites the repukes continue to be.

    Repubs either go back to the Crayolas and coloring book or find a hobby, you will be in the wilderness for decades.

    February 2, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. BB

    He explained it – you CNN idiots are so hypocritical and trying to get stuff stirred up. We have REAL problems in this country. Where are the REAL journalists? Oh – that generation retired or died. Too bad.

    Reminder – he was reading what the magazine cover said. You're all Idiots or empty talking heads at CNN.

    February 2, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Joe the Troll

    Does anyone really think that Jessica Simpson would be famous if not for her looks?

    February 2, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. trenessa


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

    Are you all idiots? he didnt say what they said...What do you not understand about that?

    February 2, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. jj

    The headline asks "Did POTUS diss Jessica Simpson?" But the story makes clear that he did not. So why why does the headline suggest that he did?

    Jon Stewart did a great roast of suggestive journalism like this, spoofing journalists like the author of this article by noting that in Washington anything can be suggested by adding a question mark at the end. "Is the president gay?" "Did Obama know about Daschle's" tax problems?" It's a kind of lazy, breezy, gossipy reporting that diminishes the respect the consuming public has for your publication.

    Of course the predicate issue here is that this article presents a non-issue when their are so many pressing issues of the day. Please respect yourself by respecting our time and your President!!

    February 2, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  14. EL

    Do any of you bother to read the article before posting a comment? Half of you missed the point of the article, and only read the headline before shooting off your moronic comment.

    February 2, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. Snake eyes

    I think it was sarcasm, people. as in, everyone is making a big deal of this but its not anything at all....

    Curves or not, Simpson is an attractive woman. 'nuff said.

    February 2, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  16. Maggie SC

    If Pres, Obama tells the truth so be it. He and his first family should hold the spot light for awhile. I am tired of all the here today and gone tomorrow stars whose most desire is to rise to fame. Tell it like it is Pres Obama. Don't let the media push your family aside.

    February 2, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. donna

    Has he looked at his wife...she is no slim chicken

    February 2, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Who cares

    My name says it enough

    February 2, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. greg

    hahahahahhaahhahaahhahaha,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,leave it to beaver,,,,,,,

    February 2, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. iamblacksmith

    oh campbell brown will be all over this. this is her bread and butter!

    February 2, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. G.R.


    February 2, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. aloha

    Your argument might carry more weight if you didn't frame it with a question mark...

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

    So just because he's our president, he can't have an opinion about someone? also, why are his emails being shown for the world to see? if there was something controversial like this in his email, it should have been dealt with privately instead of publicly.

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

    well she is lol.

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

    OMGZ! Obama read the cover of a magazine out loud! How dare he!?!?! He is a socialist! He wants to eat your babies! He hates America!

    Can we move on to actual news now? kythnxbye

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