Right-Wing Media's New Phony Scandal: Obama Watches Sports

Right-wing media outlets manufactured phony outrage over President Obama's recent remark on ESPN Radio that he usually watches SportsCenter while working out in the morning. In 2007, President Bush similarly admitted to watching ESPN while working. 

In ESPN Interview, Obama Says He Watches SportsCenter In The Morning

Obama Says He Watches SportsCenter In Mornings During Workout. In a December 12 interview with ESPN Radio's “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” the president said that when he works out in the mornings, he usually watches SportsCenter rather than cable news. He added that the show “gave him a pretty good sense of the sports world because he doesn't really have time to sit down and watch entire games.” [CNNMoney, 12/12/14

Right-Wing Media Manufacture Outrage At President Watching Sports

Washington Free Beacon Insinuated Obama May Watch SportsCenter Rather Than Attending Daily Briefing. In its post on Obama's SportsCenter comment, the Washington Free Beacon noted that a “report in October from the Government Accountability Institute noted Obama has missed 62.5 percent of his daily intelligence briefings during his presidency.” A 2012 version of this report was debunked by The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, who noted that “Obama didn't 'attend' these meetings, because there were no meetings to attend: The oral briefings had been mostly replaced by daily exchanges in which Obama reads the materials and poses written questions and comments to intelligence officials.” [Washington Free Beacon, 12/12/14The Washington Post,9/12/12]

Breitbart.com: Obama “Divides His Attention During His Duty As Commander-In-Chief” By Watching SportsCenter. Breitbart.com claimed that when Obama spoke about his SportCenter habits, he admitted that he “divides his attention during his duty as commander-in-chief of reviewing those 'really fat briefing books' and watching sports.” The article also quoted another part of the ESPN interview, in which Obama said: “There are times I will admit at night when I've got a really fat briefing book where I might have the game on with the sound on.” [Breitbart.com, 12/12/14

The Daily Caller: Is Obama's Daily Briefing SportsCenter? In a post titled “Is Obama's Presidential Daily Briefing ESPN's 'SportsCenter'?”, the Daily Caller criticized Obama's comments:

Considering he has a staff of thousands who are supposed to inform him of what is happening within his own government and they clearly aren't, it might be time for him to switch the TV from SportsCenter to actual news. [The Daily Caller, 12/15/14

Fox Nation Hypes SportsCenter Story. Fox Nation promoted the Washington Free Beacon's SportsCenter story on Twitter and on its website:

[Fox Nation, 12/15/14; Twitter.com, 12/15/14

President Bush Also Watched ESPN While Working

Bush: “I Watch Baseball Tonight.” In a 2007 interview with ESPN, President Bush said that he watched the network's Baseball Tonight, and that sometimes he would be “working on a speech and there'll be a game in the back.” [via YouTube, 7/16/07