Forget ObamaCare, NBC's 'Today' Wonders if President Will Get a New Cell Phone

With one week to go before the March 31 ObamaCare enrollment deadline, Monday's NBC Today completely skipped any reporting on the latest sign-up numbers still being below administration projections. Instead, the hosts of the morning show devoted air time to discussing rumors that President Obama may trade in his BlackBerry for a new smart phone. [Listen to the audio]

Co-host Matt Lauer announced to viewers: "Is President Obama finally ready to part with one of his most prized possessions?....Since he first took office back in 2008 [sic], Mr. Obama said there were two habits he could not kick, smoking and using a BlackBerry. Well, he ditched cigarettes a long time ago and now his beloved smart phone could get the boot."

Lauer continued: "In what would be a symbolic blow to struggling BlackBerry, the Wall Street Journal saying the White House is now testing phones from Samsung and LG."

Making sure to note the administration's response, Lauer declared: "Spokesperson at the White House Jay Carney pushing back on the report, saying no changes are imminent."

When will NBC ask Jay Carney to comment on ObamaCare?

Social media co-host Carson Daly lamented: "I feel sorry for BlackBerry, because this is like the one thing that they could say, 'The President still uses us.'"

Weatherman Al Roker joked: "I hear he's going back to a beeper, too. That's going to be kind of cool."

Here is a full transcript of the March 24 segment:

8:13 AM ET

MATT LAUER: 8:13 now, we're back with What's Trending Today. And here's a question for you, is President Obama finally ready to part with one of his most prized possessions? Not Joe Biden, Savannah.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Oh, get me in trouble.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Bye, Bye, BlackBerry?; Report: White House Considers Android for Obama]

LAUER: Since he first took office back in 2008 [sic], Mr. Obama said there were two habits he could not kick, smoking and using a BlackBerry. Well, he ditched cigarettes a long time ago and now his beloved smart phone could get the boot.

In what would be a symbolic blow to struggling BlackBerry, the Wall Street Journal saying the White House is now testing phones from Samsung and LG. Spokesperson at the White House Jay Carney pushing back on the report, saying no changes are imminent.

Apparently these other phone companies have made great strides in coming up with phones that are more and more secure, which is one of the reasons he was hanging on to his BlackBerry.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, because this is not just the BlackBerry that you get over at Radioshack.

AL ROKER: No.

MATT LAUER: This is not your grandfather's BlackBerry.  

GUTHRIE: No, no.

CARSON DALY: I feel sorry for BlackBerry, because this is like the one thing that they could say, "The President still uses us."

LAUER: Right.

ROKER: I hear he's going back to a beeper, too.

[LAUGHTER]

That's going to be kind of cool.

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.