In one of the most heavily promoted interviews of the year, (yes, even more than Blago) Matt Lauer’s 12 minute sit-down with Pres. Obama in the White House Map Room experienced the dreaded “technical difficulties.”
Seven minutes into the interview the President’s audio dropped, just as he was explaining how House Democrats had adopted some of the ideas pitched by House Republicans related to the stimulus plan.
The audio was out for 14 seconds. At one point, Bob Costas could be heard asking, “Did you lose it?” The audio returned, but wasn’t as clear as the first part of the interview. Then at one point, the two-shot on Lauer and Obama froze.
Beyond the technical problems, Lauer’s was a wide-ranging interview, Obama’s first live sit-down since becoming president. Topics ranged from living with his mother-in-law to how the family is coping in Washington, D.C. to U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq to the economy to Obama’s support of a college football playoff system.
Lauer was also impressed that the President is able to keep his Blackberry. “Can I see it? Do you have it?” Lauer asked. “It’s like Inspector Gadget, if you touched it it might blow up,” Obama joked, adding, “Look, there are security issues involved so we’ve got to make sure that I’m not creating a situation where we have…potentially people can compromise our systems.”
Lauer might have also helped “US Weekly” sell some issues. He held up this week’s edition which included Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama on the cover, but not the president. Lauer: “You got replaced by Jessica Simpson.” Obama: “Yeah, who’s in a weight battle, apparently. Oh well.”
When Lauer sent it back to Costas in Tampa, Costas made note of the earlier technical problems. “Our apologies to our viewers for the bit of technical difficulties…but we stuck with it because we know you wanted to hear from the president.”