Whitaker spoke with the book's creator and CEO of the Web site kidthing.com, Larry Hitchcock, who described some of the other letters: "We had to extend the deadline because so many were coming in...A 6-year-old who just wants the President to 'make it rain candy'...'Poor people should have food.'" A clip was played of one girl asking the President: "Please take care of the environment." Later, Hitchcock declared: "There's a theme through all of it of hope and kind of belief that tomorrow's going to be a better day."
[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org  ]
Earlier in the program, fill-in anchor Jeff Glor teased Whitaker's report: "Coming up next here, a young boy battling cancer has a birthday wish, one only the President can make come true." Whitaker talked to that boy: "Eight-year-old Carlo Santiago feels good these days. He's fighting a rare form of cancer. His message to the President?" A clip was played of Santiago: "When I'm done with all my treatment, I want to go see you in the White House on my birthday. Love, Carlo." Whitaker later concluded the report by describing the book as: "A book full of young hopes and dreams."
Here is the full transcript of the May 4 segment:
JEFF GLOR: Coming up next here, a young boy battling cancer has a birthday wish, one only the President can make come true.
JEFF GLOR: Finally tonight, President Obama gets thousands of letters everyday. Aides select ten of them for him to read personally, so the odds of getting a letter into the President's hands are pretty slim. But Bill Whitaker tells us tonight some kids have found a way to beat those odds.
LUCY O'BRIEN: My favorite color is pink.
BILL WHITAKER: Eight-year-old Lucy O'Brien loves to draw, ask her dad, a fine antiques dealer.
MR. O'BRIEN: Lucy is a drawer, that's what she loves to do.
WHITAKER: Her mom.
MRS. O'BRIEN: This is the large-headed girl series.
LUCY O'BRIEN: I'm not bragging about it, but I think I'm good at drawing.
WHITAKER: She also knows times are hard at dad's business.
O'BRIEN: My mom and dad talk about it usually and I'm sort of nosy when I listen to them talking about it.
WHITAKER: So when her mother told her about a 'Dear Mr. President' contest, lucky winners' art and letters presented to President Obama, she poured her heart into it.
O'BRIEN: I had added like, confetti, and stuff like that, and then I added 'hope' on the top to show for the future that there's hope for maybe the economy or something.
WHITAKER: And sent it off to Larry Hitchcock's web site kidthing.
LARRY HITCHCOCK: We had to extend the deadline because so many were coming in.
WHITAKER: From kids age 5 to 12 all over the country. Kid stuff:
HITCHCOCK: A 6-year-old who just wants the President to 'make it rain candy.'
WHITAKER: Serious stuff:
HITCHCOCK: 'Poor people should have food.'
WHITAKER: From almost 5,000 kids.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Dear Mr. President-
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Please take care of the environment.
CARLO SANTIAGO: Dear President Obama, on Inauguration Day I was at the hospital here in L.A.-
WHITAKER: Eight-year-old Carlo Santiago feels good these days. He's fighting a rare form of cancer. His message to the President?
SANTIAGO: When I'm done with all my treatment, I want to go see you in the White House on my birthday. Love, Carlo.
WHITAKER: The best 150 entries put in this book to be hand delivered to President Obama.
HITCHCOCK: There's a theme through all of it of hope and kind of belief that tomorrow's going to be a better day.
WHITAKER: Carlo's letter made it. Out of 5,000 kids-
WHITAKER: That's pretty good.
SANTIAGO: I felt pretty lucky.
WHITAKER: Lucy's too.
O'BRIEN: And I was jumping up and down. And I was screaming and I ran into to my brother's room and I was, like, 'I made it into the book!' And he was like 'oh, good for you.'
WHITAKER: A book full of young hopes and dreams. Bill Whitaker, CBS News, Los Angeles.