Media crop Krzyzewski's comments on Obama's NCAA picks, leaving out his praise of Obama

››› ››› MATT GERTZ & BRIAN FREDERICK

On Special Report, Bret Baier stated: "Following news Mr. Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA championship, rival coach [Mike] Krzyzewski responded: 'Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets.' " But Baier -- and other media figures -- did not report Krzyzewski's following comment in which he praised Obama, saying in part, "I love the guy, and I think he's gonna be great."

On the March 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Bret Baier cropped comments from Duke University men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski to suggest that Krzyzewski was criticizing President Obama following Obama's interview with ESPN's Andy Katz, during which Obama filled out his bracket for the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Baier stated: "Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has a message for President Obama: Keep your day job. Following news Mr. Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA championship, rival coach Krzyzewski responded: 'Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets.' " But as video of Krzyzewski's comments indicates, he was smiling when he made the remark and laughter can be heard in response, emphasizing the tongue-in-cheek nature of his comments. Moreover, Baier did not report Krzyzewski's following comment in which he praised Obama, saying in part, "I love the guy, and I think he's gonna be great."

During a March 18 press conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, prior to Duke's first-round game in the NCAA tournament, Krzyzewski said:

Somebody said that, you know, we're not in President Obama's Final Four, you know. And as much as I respect what he's doing, really, you know, the economy is something that he should focus on, you know, probably more than the brackets. And -- so why would I care about that? I love the guy, and I think he's gonna be great. But -- I love the fact that so many people are filling them out because the game is growing so much.

Other media figures similarly suggested Krzyzewski was criticizing Obama by omitting Krzyzewski's statement of praise, including:

  • Time editor-at-large Mark Halperin wrote in a March 19 post to his site, The Page, that "Krzyzewski says the president should spend his time on the economy, not the NCAA bracket."
  • During the 11 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on March 19, anchor Peter Alexander stated that Obama is "getting hard hit by the Republicans for filling out his brackets, picking North Carolina, which has the Duke coach, Coach Krzyzewski, basically saying, 'You know, maybe you should focus on the economy and less on your college basketball picks,' which -- a lot of Republican congresspeople have supported that thought."
  • On the March 19 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said Obama's interview "caught the attention of many Americans who feel he should be focusing on more important things, especially during his workday. And one of those critics is a familiar face to the college basketball world, the legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski." Hannity then aired a clip of the same cropped Krzyzewski comment Baier read.
  • On the March 19 edition of Fox News' On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren cited Krzyzewski as "one of the big names slamming the president" for his ESPN interview. Van Susteren stated that Krzyzewski "says the president shouldn't be wasting his time discussing basketball, he should be focusing on the economy."

From the March 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:

BAIER: Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has a message for President Obama: Keep your day job. Following news Mr. Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA championship, rival coach Krzyzewski responded: "Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets."

Mr. Obama shared his tournament picks and completed bracket with ESPN Tuesday. The First Fan threw a challenge the North Carolina team, saying, "For all the Tar Heels who are watching, I picked you last year -- you let me down. This year, don't embarrass me in front of the nation, all right?"

From the 11 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on March 19:

ALEXANDER: Give us a sense then, if you can -- I mean, we saw just a moment ago his dancing with Ellen. But right now, he's getting hard hit by the Republicans for filling out his brackets, picking North Carolina, which has the Duke coach, Coach Krzyzewski, basically saying, "You know, maybe you should focus on the economy and less on your college basketball picks," which -- a lot of Republican congresspeople have supported that thought. Then he's showing up on Leno. So, what's the -- I mean, you know, isn't there some potential that tomorrow we all look at this and say, "Mm -- bad call," and it just goes all the wrong direction?

From the March 19 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: The economy is in crisis and tensions are rising in hot spots all over the world, but what is keeping President Obama busy? Filling out his NCAA bracket, of course. Now, earlier this week, the president granted an exclusive interview to ESPN's Andy Katz to discuss some of the most pressing questions of our time, like who is in his Final Four.

Now, the interview took place in the historic Map Room of the White House, where Franklin Roosevelt monitored the developments of World War II. Mr. Obama's use of the room wasn't exactly for matters of war and peace, and he's caught the attention of many Americans who feel he should be focusing on more important things, especially during his workday. And one of those critics is a familiar face to the college basketball world, the legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. At a press conference yesterday, Coach K told reporters this.

KRZYZEWSKI [video clip]: Somebody said that, you know, we're not in President Obama's Final Four, you know. And as much as I respect what he's doing, really, you know, the economy is something that he should focus on, you know, probably more than the brackets.

HANNITY: Now, does President Obama ever work? Ever? I don't see it. And by the way, just a reminder, Mr. President: You said that you wanted the American people to hold you accountable, right? Well, if your first two months in office are any indication of what is yet to come, you may be in the final four years of your presidency.

From the March 19 edition of Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, some are slamming President Obama for appearing on a late-night comedy show in the middle of an economic crisis. He's also getting slammed by some for going on TV to talk about his NCAA basketball tournament picks. Who is one of the big names slamming the president? Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. He says the president shouldn't be wasting his time discussing basketball, he should be focusing on the economy.

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