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Say What? Obama Weighs In on West


President Obama apparently called Kanye West a "jackass" in a live-mike gaffe Monday -- but if it weren't for Twitter, you might not have heard about it.

His comment came up during chitchat before an interview with CNBC's John Harwood -- an exchange before taping began, but audible to some with access to the raw video feed. When we asked Harwood about it Monday night, he declined to comment, saying that the informal chatter in those settings is off the record.

No matter. Because by then, ABC's Terry Moran had already gone to Twitter with a cryptic tweet about 6:20 p.m.: "President Obama just called Kanye West a 'jackass' for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT's presidential."

Moran, an anchor for "Nightline" who has a million-plus Twitter followers, apparently had second thoughts, because the post was deleted within an hour. Too late: By then, scores of his followers had echoed his impulsive news alert.

The White House did not respond to our questions about the incident, but ABC officials offered an oblique confirmation of what went down, by way of apologizing: "In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama ... ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview."

UPDATE: A transcript of what Obama actually said, here.

By The Reliable Source  |  September 15, 2009; 1:05 AM ET
Categories:  First Family  
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Next: Jackass-gate: What Obama Actually Said About Kanye West


Good luck getting that next interview, ABC.

What a bunch of morans.

Posted by: dadada | September 15, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad Obama said what most of us were thinking.

With Republican candidate for governor throwing out the F bomb on the radio, I don't think many people will be shocked to hear the word jackass.

Posted by: DWinFC | September 15, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Moran knew what he was doing! Don't say "sorry" now.

Posted by: shejoy | September 15, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Off the record and another network's interview, Terry Moran must be nuts. I don't think Nightline will be getting a lot of connected guests for some time.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 15, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

What's the problem? West is a jackass!

Posted by: ManOpener | September 15, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Add Terry Moran's name to the Jackass list.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 15, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Is this another example of how this president thinks he has to be in every segment of our lives? When was the last time a president commented on entertainment issues? If it had been Kid Rock or Eminem insulting Taylor, would he have spoken up? I think not? I'm holding my breath just waiting for his take on Serena Williams. Obviously he feels he has to comment on anything and everything involving black people. Isn't that sort of racist?

Posted by: tx20fan | September 15, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

News flash:The press loves the prez!
Film at 11, 6 or any time period you tune in.
They all have schoolboy and girl crushes on the commander-in-stud.
Toothy Terry has to wait in line for his date, er I mean interview.

Posted by: adamnescot1 | September 15, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

tx20fan: Your ravings are those of a lunatic. Obama was chitchatting before an interview, comments that were never intended or supposed to be broadcast. Only because of Terry Moran's unprofessional stupidity have we heard a comment that should have been private.

BTW, your calling the President racist because he had a watercooler opinion is pretty racist.

Posted by: Pupster | September 15, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

The POTUS is really starting to disappoint me..A white man calls him a liar on the house floor and its ok but when a black man insults a white woman who is just a singer he feels that Kayne is JA..But he is all to cool to forgive and forget when a white man insults him..The POTUS needs to stop being a "lets please the white man person"..They are just not into you..Barack grow up and be a MAN..A Black Man..The guy from HBO..Bill Moyer or something to that effect maybe right..Barack has no backbone..BTW, I am a Black Man.

Posted by: runnergoal | September 15, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse


The president was having an off the record conversation and Terry Moran wrongfully put it out to the public. Those who are condemning Obama for having an opinion on what Kanye West did are ridiculous. The president was not making a public speech. He was simply watching something on TV and reacted to what he saw. Should we have the press hang around you and publicize every word you utter and have the public pick you apart for every comment you make?

Posted by: Snookie2 | September 16, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse


Let's not forget that our president is half white. And he has millions of white supporters.

Posted by: Snookie2 | September 16, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

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