Nets Gush Over Obama Netflix Doc, Predict it Will ‘Break All Kinds of Records’

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On Wednesday, the network morning shows gushed over a new fawning Netflix documentary about former First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2018 book tour promoting her memoir, Becoming. The film had only been released on the streaming service for a matter of hours when ABC, NBC, and CBS journalists began urging viewers to go watch the sycophantic biopic.

“We have a new look now at Malia and Sasha Obama. The former first daughters are giving their first public interview in the new documentary about their mom, Becoming,” co-host George Stephanopoulos announced on ABC’s Good Morning America. Correspondent Deborah Roberts eagerly used that angle to promote the film: “These two now young ladies are causing quite a Twitter storm in their mom’s new surprise documentary, which is hitting about a year and a half after her stratospheric memoir.”

 

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The reporter then predicted: “And I have to tell you, if reaction to that best-seller is any indication, this film is likely to break all kinds of records.”

Roberts described the documentary “offering an intimate glimpse into the life story of former First Lady Michelle Obama, as she tours the country discussing her runaway best-selling biography, Becoming.” The segment featured a clip of the former First Lady observing: “My life is starting to be mine again. There is another chapter waiting for me out there.”

Wrapping up the puff piece, Roberts worried that Mrs. Obama would have to deal with increased “admiration and popularity” following the film’s debut:

But that chapter of hers is not likely to include much privacy. Remember that first –  that book sold about 10 million copies or more. And, of course, last year, Michelle Obama was ranked the most admired woman in the world. So you can only imagine what she’s going to face in terms of admiration and popularity after this film.

What a burden.

On NBC’s Today show, co-host Savannah Guthrie marveled: “And this morning, former First Lady Michelle Obama is pulling back the curtain on her life in the new Netflix documentary, Becoming.” Fellow co-host Hoda Kotb chimed in: “It started streaming overnight, but she isn’t telling her story alone, we are also hearing from her daughters, Sasha and Malia, who are speaking publicly for the first time in more than a decade.”

Correspondent Stephanie Gosk touted: “The new documentary follows Mrs. Obama on her 34-stop tour for her candid memoir, while also looking at her life before the White House….The former First Lady now sharing lessons learned with the next generation.”

“The documentary, which hits Netflix today, follows Michelle Obama as she travels from city to city on a book tour promoting her best-selling memoir,” correspondent Vladimir Duthiers advertized on CBS This Morning. After brief excerpts of the film were shown, co-host Gayle King, a Democratic donor and close friend of the Obamas, just couldn’t contain her excitement:

So the documentary was released at 3:01 this morning. I can’t wait to see it. I can’t wait. I hear it’s very, very good. Becoming, by the way, sold close to 12 million books, still on the bestseller’s list.

When Barack and Michelle Obama’s highly lucrative deal to produce content for Netflix was announced in 2018, the media were beside themselves with joy. King was particularly elated when the first film from the Obamas premiered in 2019, declaring: “They want to do something that celebrates our core values as a country, and certainly celebrates the struggle and the triumph of the human spirit.”

The potential financial gain for the former first couple releasing a documentary promoting Michelle Obama’s book was not mentioned during Wednesday’s adoring coverage.

Here is a transcript of the May 6 report on ABC’s GMA:

8:15 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We have a new look now at Malia and Sasha Obama. The former first daughters are giving their first public interview in the new documentary about their mom, Becoming. It was released overnight and Deborah Roberts joins us with the details. And Deborah, we watched them grow up in the White House and now we’re hearing what it was like for them to move on.

DEBORAH ROBERTS: That’s right, George, good morning. These two now young ladies are causing quite a Twitter storm in their mom’s new surprise documentary, which is hitting about a year and a half after her stratospheric memoir. And I have to tell you, if reaction to that best-seller is any indication, this film is likely to break all kinds of records.

(…)

8:16 AM ET

MICHELLE OBAMA: I am from the South Side of Chicago, that tells you as much about me as you need to know.

ROBERTS: The film offering an intimate glimpse into the life story of former First Lady Michelle Obama, as she tours the country discussing her runaway best-selling biography, Becoming.

MICHELLE OBAMA: What’s next in life?

ROBERTS: On camera, 21-year-old Malia and 18-year-old Sasha, both fairly private, especially since their family left the White House, clearly beaming.

(…)

8:18 AM ET

MICHELLE OBAMA: My life is starting to be mine again. There is another chapter waiting for me out there.

ROBERTS: But that chapter of hers is not likely to include much privacy. Remember that first –  that book sold about 10 million copies or more. And, of course, last year, Michelle Obama was ranked the most admired woman in the world. So you can only imagine what she’s going to face in terms of admiration and popularity after this film.

(…)

Here is a transcript of the report on NBC’s Today:

7:50 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And this morning, former First Lady Michelle Obama is pulling back the curtain on her life in the new Netflix documentary, Becoming.

HODA KOTB: It started streaming overnight, but she isn’t telling her story alone, we are also hearing from her daughters, Sasha and Malia, who are speaking publicly for the first time in more than a decade. Here is NBC’s Stephanie Gosk.

STEPHANIE GOSK: Malia and Sasha Obama, stepping back into the spotlight for a rare interview.

SASHA OBAMA: I’m excited for her to be proud of what she’s done. Because I think that’s the most important thing for a human can do, is to be proud of themselves.

GOSK: The former first daughters appearing in the new Netflix documentary, Becoming, which looks at Michelle Obama’s post-White House life.

(…)

7:52 AM ET

GOSK: The new documentary follows Mrs. Obama on her 34-stop tour for her candid memoir, while also looking at her life before the White House.

MICHELLE OBAMA: So little of who I am happened in those eight years. So much more of who I was, happened before.

GOSK: The former First Lady now sharing lessons learned with the next generation.

OBAMA: You’ve got to find the tools within yourself to feel visible and to be heard and to use your voice.

(…)

Here is a transcript of the report on CBS This Morning:

7:50 AM ET

TONY DOKOUPIL: Vlad, I understand you have another story here, a surprise in the new documentary about Michelle Obama? What’s this about?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: Yes. The Obama daughters gave their very first public interview since leaving the White House. In the former First Lady’s movie, Becoming. The documentary, which hits Netflix today, follows Michelle Obama as she travels from city to city on a book tour promoting her best-selling memoir. The documentary also details her family life post-White House, and in a just-released clip we hear Malia talking about how proud she is of her mom. Take a listen to this.

MALIA OBAMA: This has demonstrated in a way, it’s just like, damn, those eight years weren’t for nothing, you know. You see that – you see that huge crowd out there, and that last – you know, that last kind of speech you gave about just like – people are here because people really believe in love and hope in other people.

DUTHIERS: Gayle, I feel like the last time I looked, they were just 7 and 10. I blinked, and here are these intelligent, self-assured, sophisticated young women standing before my eyes.

GAYLE KING: I know, Vlad. Listen, they are – those Obama girls, they are kind, gracious, smart. Kudos to their parents who said, “Listen, they’re going to have a normal job, they said Barack Obama was president, you’re not.” So I think that, that’s very interesting the way they’ve turned out. And for a lot of people, that’s the first time they’ve ever heard their voices.

So the documentary was released at 3:01 this morning. I can’t wait to see it. I can’t wait. I hear it’s very, very good. Becoming, by the way, sold close to 12 million books, still on the bestseller’s list.

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