The president and the press

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," August 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, Obama re-election aide Stephanie Cutter was asked if "Entertainment Tonight" or People magazine are more important to her boss than the national press. Her reply?


STEPHANIE CUTTER, OBAMA CAMPAIGN 2012: I don't think they're more important, but I think they're equally important. I think that's where a lot of Americans get their news.


GUTFELD: She's huge. Did you see her in front of those buildings?

Anyway, despite this -- and sensing a sad national press -- the president decided to pay them a visit. I bet Jay told them, you guys have been missing me.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Jay tells me you guys have been missing me. I thought I'd come by and just say hello.

Thank you, everybody.

REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President.

REPORTER: Don't be a stranger.

REPORTER: Come back!


GUTFELD: Well, that was fast.

But the reason Obama prefers to Tinseltown rags to the national press is simple, if Hollywood is the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, then the Hollywood press is the propaganda arm for the propaganda arm. It's just another vehicle to make a political disaster tastier to a dismayed public.

And since entertainment hacks must kiss the stars' behinds to survive, they must embrace the pet causes, too. Before it was global warming, but now it's Obama, who is bigger than the globe. It's another Obama first: A U.S. president who finds the job too local for him.

But let's be honest, Jasper knows more about politics than these Hollywood hacks. Look at him.

But the biggest joke in all of this, that the national press thinks they're different. No, guys, you're not. You're every bit as shallow and co-opted as your typical entertainment reporter fawning over Ryan Gosling's chiseled pecks. They are chiseled.


GUTFELD: So, Cutter is right. There's no difference between the news press and the entertainment press. They are two industries united by hero worship, protecting the president's flanks when they should be challenging him. And the public ends up with a presidency that feels like another summer repeat that needs canceling, because in the real world, you can't turn turkey into a blockbuster no matter how many positive reviews you buy.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Welcome back.


GUILFOYLE: Here he is, ladies ands gentlemen. He's here --

GUTFELD: I also got some new glasses. Do you like these? Like them, they're good, huh?

GUILFOYLE: You're scaring me.

GUTFELD: They're real.

Hey, Dana, here's the deal. The national press has been -- it was like neglected wife saying you never take me to movies. Or you never take me to dinner. So after three days, President Obama shows up like he is taking them to dinner and just kind of stands there and goes through the motions. Is that what it is like?

PERINO: OK. Taking a step -- the metaphor a step further. The wife is best friends with the Obama's wife, and they get together and they talk. Oh, I hear that she is kind of unhappy. Oh, I guess I better throw her a little something.

You know, I thought, I couldn't believe that the White House caved that quickly, though. I mean, if you are going to diss the press, like just diss 'em altogether. Instead of you just cave on the first -- we want more access.

If you call a news conference, you should have something newsy to say. Just showing up like hit me with your best shot. And their best shot wasn't great.


PERINO: And so, there, instead of worried about reporting, they are worried about access. Their access has been solely chipped away in the last few years and they only complain once in a while. There is a reason that they go to "Entertainment Tonight," it's easier.

GUTFELD: It is easier, because what kind of questions -- they ask if you like green chilies or red chilies.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: I don't know, Greg, there was real hard-hitting questions here. What's your favorite Mexican food? I mean, really, how did he even answer that? Corn tortillas, flour tortillas, how did he make a decision?

Also, is the campaign bus comfortable? We found out the campaign bus is comfortable, Greg. How are these not pressing questions the American people want to know?


TANTAROS: Also, I find it very fascinating that we went from the president saying things like "give me liberty and give me death" to "I wear boxers," Bill Clinton, and now, "I'm good friends with George Clooney. And we have a special bromance going on." Really?

I just -- to Dana's point about caving so quickly. Now the press can come out and whenever they want him, they can just whine and they know they're going to get him.

GUTFELD: I have to point out something.

TANTAROS: That my earring fell in my dress?

GUTFELD: That was one of the greatest catches of all time.

TANTAROS: It's right here. Near my stomach.


GUTFELD: Juan --

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Are you going to ask her to help her get it?

GUTFELD: No, I'm not.

WILLIAMS: Because I'd be delighted.




TANTAROS: Thank you, Juan.

Mrs. Williams, we like him very much. We're very appropriate here on "The Five."

GUILFOYLE: It must be the chair you are sitting in. You and Bob.

PERINO: You should have chosen the other earrings. You asked me earlier, the gold one or the studs.

TANTAROS: Dana, you picked them. I blame Dana.

WILLIAMS: By the way, the president who said that? I didn't think a president said "give me liberty or give me death"? It's OK.

TANTAROS: Patrick Henry. Political leaders.

WILLIAMS: OK. All right. All right. But anyway, back to your point.

Dana, wait a minute. What are you doing? Yes, he hasn't had a press conference. He should have a press conference. He should take questions from people who actually follow national news and give him a real good scolding and ask about Syria and the likes. So, he goes out and does it.

And you come back and say oh, why did they fold so quickly? Why did they show up so easily?

PERINO: Juan, you have covered Washington for so long. I can't believe that you wouldn't agree with me that, for example --


PERINO: This is technical. This is a press office thing but let me take you back.

One thing when you have a world leader meeting, the president sits there, and leader sits there. You have a little chitchat for the cameras and you take two questions aside. That is almost essentially been done away with.

President Obama --


WILLIAMS: That is not what we're talking about. You have been pressing this guy to take some questions.

PERINO: Answer some questions.

WILLIAMS: But I will say this. You know what? As someone -- I used to cover Ronald Reagan. I got to tell you something. Reagan, Mike Deaver and those guys, they said we can do regional stuff, we can do local stuff, we can do entertainment stuff, Greg. And we get better coverage and we feel better about it.

And this national press corps all they do is come at you with the gotcha questions and they like to embarrass you.

PERINO: Really? What do you find enchanting about being president? That was a really tough question.


WILLIAMS: But I'm saying -- look, also you think about it, "Entertainment Tonight" has better ratings than all four of the nightly news programs.

GUTFELD: Yes. That's because --

WILLIAMS: That's the truth.

GUTFELD: -- people aren't interested quite yet in the election and then they will.

Kimberly, I notice you dozing over there. I want to ask you about a guy that asked you out many times. George Clooney.


GUTFELD: President Obama praised George Clooney for a not bothering him. We might have a SOT.


NANCY O'DELL, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: Call you on the cell phone?

OBAMA: You know the truth is, he doesn't. He's very --

NANCY O'DELL: He could.

OBAMA: He's protective about not bothering me. I think he is also sensitive to the fact if he is around a lot, then somehow, you know, it will be tagged as Obama hanging out with Hollywood stars. That's not who he is.


GUTFELD: Isn't that beautiful, Kimberly?

GUILFOYLE: Not really. Everyone has to brag about being buddies with George Clooney? Where does it even get him? I mean, look, George is a nice guy. I mean --

GUTFELD: Well, you know that personally.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, he is. He's very nice guy. I don't love his politics but nevertheless, he's a good guy.

But it shows me, too, that the president came out in the press conference that he is feeling insecure. He is worried about the popularity with the main stream media. This tells me he is a little insecure about his positioning right now, on the defensive. I don't think it wasn't presidential to respond kind of knee-jerk reaction like that --


WILLIAMS: Weren't you and Dana were the ones who were saying he should do it?

PERINO: But he only does it for the point, why can't they do the right thing for the first time around. Who do they wait to be pushed in something? He hasn't had a cabinet meeting since January at the State of the Union, a cabinet meeting. You don't even take questions at cabinet meeting. Not met with the jobs council.

Basically, what they have done, since they haven't sat down with White House reporter since October 6th, 2011. So they have been campaigning on the taxpayers' dime since then. I don't think it's too much to ask for once in a while you give the Rose Garden statements to say, I'll take two questions.

Besides, it's his strength. I think they weaken President Obama by not having him out there more, to talk about specifics, because if you go to "Entertainment Tonight," when you're getting prepped, it's not so you're going to talk about the $ $716 billion that we cut from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. It's make sure you understand that in Albuquerque, Mexican food is really important so love the chalupa, you love the enchilada, just have something up at the top of your head.

WILLIAMS: You know, I remember you said we don't do the press conferences it's because of this liberal press.

PERINO: I said that? Please tell me where I ever said that. We gave more press conferences under me than any of the others.

GUILFOYLE: Take that, Juan.

WILLIAMS: When President Bush, when he was up for re-election in 2004. He, too, the same media strategy, anybody in the Oval Office these days doesn't do as they approach an election.

TANTAROS: He said to Nancy O'Dell he didn't want people thinking that's who he was, cavorting with celebrities.

PERINO: On "Entertainment Tonight."

TANTAROS: Duh. He does cavort with celebrities. And look, from a political perspective, I get why he did "Entertainment Tonight."


TANTAROS: He is playing in the narrative he is a celebrity and that

he's likable. That's all he has, to keep being more likable.

PERINO: A celebrity president.

TANTAROS: I get it. If I'm a voter and I don't a job and I'm concerned about the economy, that would infuriate me.

GUTFELD: All right. Real quick, I just want to run this question real fast.

Senate candidate Todd Akin made some bizarre comments regarding rape. Should he drop out of the race? Real quickly.

GUILFOYLE: Listen, I thought it was out of line. Yes, I don't think it's a go from here.

GUTFELD: Yes. He's saying he's going to stay in, Juan. What do you think?

WILLIAMS: You know, I guess it's who he is. To me, it's reprehensible.

TANTAROS: I think he needs to stop talking immediately. He's upsetting my other earring is about to fall off. I just want to tear it off.


PERINO: He should have gotten out in the first news cycle, one because what he said was wrong. Also, he could have at least allowed some shot for the Republican, another Republican to come. In I have a complaint about something, though.

The other -- he just won a primary. There were two other people in the race. How bad are their opposition research team that neither of those two Republicans found this before?

WILLIAMS: But this is bad news for the Republicans. That's why you saw Romney-Ryan try to distance themselves quickly. Women, this is not good for Republicans.

TANTAROS: It plays in the hand of Democrats that want to have a debate on social issues and want to have a debate on this type of thing. So, they are jumping up and down. It's important.

GUILFOYLE: They don't want to give that up. That's the things.

TANTAROS: It's stupid he said that.

GUTFELD: Yes. What is dumber is the reporter didn't follow up -- when somebody says like that, you go, what are you talking about? Where do you get your medical information?


PERINO: If it may have been on "Entertainment Tonight," there would have been a follow-up.

TANTAROS: Nancy O'Dell would not have let it go.

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