Oops! Oprah Winfrey unfortunately taped an interview with President Obama just days before the most momentous event of his presidency – the killing of Osama bin Laden.
And what’s worse, the interview – taped last Wednesday in Chicago – aired Monday, the day after Obama’s dramatic announcement late Sunday night that Bin Laden had been killed.
Well, how was Oprah supposed to know? To the President’s credit, he didn’t let on or otherwise clue her in that she might benefit from holding off on taping their interview until the following week (although it seems as if even he didn’t know last Wednesday that, by the weekend, he’d be ordering the fatal — and very secret — raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan).
And to Oprah’s credit, she acknowledged Monday that the Bin Laden news did take the wind out of her sails a bit, as far as her interview with Barack and Michelle Obama was concerned. “Show will feel dated because we taped last week,” Oprah admitted in a tweet a fan. “Not even a hint of Osama’s demise. Still happy to have them on,” Oprah wrote. (The fan had previously tweeted @Oprah: Was @Oprah in the loop [about the Osama raid?] the President & first lady will be on tomorrow . . . Now that’s what I call timing.”)
So the topic of Osama bin Laden was not on the table last Wednesday, when the Obamas flew off to Chicago to sit down on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” But the topic of the President’s birth certificate was top-of-mind because earlier that morning, the White House released a definitive copy of his Hawaii state birth certificate. And when Oprah addressed the subject at the start of their interview, Obama took some shots at Donald Trump, even though he didn’t mention The Donald by name.
Obama explained that the White House released the birth certificate for the simple reason that news coverage of the “birther” issue was drawing attention away from topics he deemed more important — such as the partisan debate over the federal budget. “We can’t be distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers going around trying to get attention,” he told Oprah, probably referring to Trump, who was banging the “birther” drum louder than anyone over the last few weeks.
“The line between entertainment and politics has blurred,” said the President, who then noted that the line is blurred most where reality TV is concerned. He complained that reality television has infiltrated politics — which was likely another shot at Trump, who happens to star in a reality series, “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Elsewhere in the hour-long interview, Oprah asked the Obamas what they’ve learned about marriage in 18 years (it’s a “partnership,” Michelle said), and who the President admires (if anyone) from the Republican opposition.
Who’d the President come up with? The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln.