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Even Obama rips on Jessica Simpson? Nope.

By Jimmy Orr / February 2, 2009

Jake Turcotte


It wasn't like President Obama was saying of Jessica Simpson, "she has to wear two watches – one for each time zone."

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In fact, the president wasn't making fun of the superstar singer at all.

There was a big hoo-hah this morning over an NBC transcript that incorrectly quoted President Obama as saying Simpson was losing a weight battle.

But he didn't say that. And even the corrected version really needs the video to go along with it. These issues are touchy.

Magazine cover

NBC's Today host Matt Lauer was showing the president the cover of Us Magazine. Obama and his family were originally in the photo, but they cut the president out (leaving only Michelle and their girls) and overlayed a photo of Jessica Simpson instead.

This allowed the magazine to promote both the Obama feature and the story on Simpson (which had to do with weight gain).


In a lighthearted exchange between the two, Lauer held up a copy of the magazine and said, "I want to show you the cover. Look at what they did. They took you off the cover. They cut you out of it!"

"Yeah, it's a little hurtful," the president spoofed.

"You got replaced by Jessica Simpson!," Lauer said.

Reading the cover of the magazine, Obama said, "Who is in a weight battle apparently. Yeah. Oh well."

Bad transcript

But the incorrect transcript read like he was making a snarky comment at the singer.

"Yeah, who’s losing a weight battle apparently," the bad transcript reads.

To clear up the mess, Lauer told Extra that Obama didn't do anything wrong.

"He wasn't passing judgment," Lauer said. "He was simply reading something off the cover of that magazine."

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