Couric Champions Obama-Obama-Oprah Olympic Quest 'Dream Team'
With First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey now in Copenhagen, CBS anchor Katie Couric on Wednesday night declared "the 'Dream Team' pushing Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic summer games is nearly complete" and is now just awaiting "the team captain" - that would be President Barack Obama, who "arrives Friday ahead of the final vote."
On ABC, reporter Yunji de Nies marveled at her discovery that members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are not as impressed by President Obama as are those in the American press corps: "Even the prospect of meeting President Obama on Friday leaves some of them unfazed." She then showed a clip of herself asking an unidentified man: "So, you're not impressed by the President?" The man, who per a scan of the IOC site's pictures most-resembles Japan's Chiharu Igaya, confirmed: "Never, never."
De Nies rationalized: "This is a crowd accustomed to being smooched by European royalty, and dream team royalty alike." (The "dream team royalty" citation is unclear as to whether she was echoing Couric or referring to past Olympic stars shown on screen at that moment.)
Of course, if it was Igaya, he represents Japan which has a competing bid in for Tokyo (Madrid and Rio de Janeiro round out the four cities in contention).
(NBC Nightly News abstained from touting a "dream team" and focused on Michelle Obama's "charm offensive.")
From Monday night: "Nets Tout Olympics 'Super-Fan' Obama's 'Swifter, Higher, Stronger' Effort to Land 2016 Games."
Couric set up the CBS Evening News story:
The "Dream Team" pushing Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic summer games is nearly complete. First Lady Michelle Obama landed today in Denmark where Olympic officials are meeting. Tonight she got to meet one of her childhood heroes, gold medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci, one of the former Olympians helping to sell the windy city. The team captain, meanwhile, President Obama, arrives Friday ahead of the final vote.
From the Wednesday, September 30 World News on ABC:
YUNJI de NIES: ...This contest is going down to the wire. Many of the IOC members are power players themselves. Even the prospect of meeting President Obama on Friday leaves some of them unfazed. So, you're not impressed by the President?
De NIES TO UNIDENTIFIED MAN, (LIKELY CHIHARU IGAYA OF JAPAN): So you're not impressed by the President?
IGAYA: Never, never.
De NIES: This is a crowd accustomed to being smooched by European royalty, and dream team royalty alike. In the shadow of all this glitz, there's another lobbying effort - albeit with a much lower profile.
TOM TRESSER: It feels quite intimidating.
De NIES: Tom Tresser runs "No Games Chicago."
TOM TRESSER: We think the bills are going to go through the roof and the taxpayers will be soaked.
De NIES: But for Michelle Obama's "Team Chicago," right now, it's not about money, it's about votes. They have less than 48 hours to bring home the gold. Yunji de Nies, ABC News, Copenhagen.
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center