President Harms Fly; TV News Harms America

CNBC’s John Harwood had a sit-down with President Obama yesterday during which they discussed…. during which the president addressed… um, I have no idea.

What I do know is that the president killed— with a single swat! — a juicy horse fly that was hanging around the interview! Oh, and, as I learned on TV News, the president said: “…to increase the transparency and the openness that has been the signature characteristic of our — Sorry. Sorry, I’m going to start over. [To the fly] Hey! Get out of here!” And then Harwood said,”That’s the most persistent fly I’ve ever seen!” And then Obama smacked the fly down and Harwood said, “Nice.” And then Obama said, “Now, where were we?”

What else they might have said? No clue.

Meanwhile, which cable news treatment of the story of The President and The Fly do you like best?

MSNBC’s Morning Joe: SWATTER-IN-CHIEF President Takes Down Fly


FOX & Friends: OBAMA’S FLY-BYE President Kills Insect During Interview; and, OBAMA COULD HURT A FLY President Swats Pesky Insect


Or, perhaps, CNBC’s own: NO-FLY ZONE President Shows Fly Who’s Boss (the title of a segment, seen below, during which Harwood talks exclusively about The Fly Incident portion of his Obama interview).

For anyone who might care what else happened during the interview: read the transcript. The rest of us will be busy debating which cable anchor’s movie-reference is most apt for The Fly Incident.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, MSNBC’s Willie Geist, and CNN’s Kira Chetry all brought up The Karate Kid’s Mr. Miyagi who did Obama one better back in 1984 by pinning a fly between two chopsticks. Olbermann also mentioned Jeff Goldblum (The Fly). To Fox’s Steve Doocy (who recalled the flies, “size of canned hams,” that used to infest Fox’s studio), Obama’s fly swat was like “a Jedi move.” Harwood himself regards it as the president’s “make my day” moment.

And then the reporting on all of this could be the media’s (help me out, movie buffs)… Speed 2: Cruise Control moment?

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.