Steve Harvey defends Obama's "funeral selfie"

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a selfie picture with Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt (C) next to US First Lady Michelle Obama (R) during the memorial service of South African former president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium (Soccer City) in Johannesburg on December 10, 2013. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Comedian and actor Steve Harvey scored quite an enviable assignment he when landed an interview with President Obama, set to air December 20 on the Steve Harvey Show. But the veteran TV and film star says he didn’t subject the president to the usual grilling he endures during interviews.

“This interview was different, you know?” Harvey told NBC4 in a segment previewing his discussion with the president. “I think I talked to him the way most people don’t talk to the president.”

“I told him I wanted a man-on-man interview,” Harvey explained. “I don’t care about the politics. It’s not important to me. Look, he’s a great guy. There’s a section of people that don’t agree with anything he does. There’s those of us that get it. Let’s talk about family, and the wives, and Christmas. You know, let’s talk about those girls, we got girls the same age, and how we feel about fatherhood.”

 

Harvey also weighed in on Mr. Obama’s so-called “funeral selfie” – a reference to the photo President Obama took with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt during Tuesday’s memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

The photo, criticized by some for injecting inappropriate levity into a memorial service, was “perfectly fine,” Harvey said.

“So what?” he asked. “It was a celebration of life. Mandela, you know, it wasn’t like what happened to Martin Luther King, he was taken from us at an early age. Mandela lived. It was a celebration of life. People want to be seen with the president.”

In the photo, as her husband hams it up with global leaders, First Lady Michelle Obama displays a more serious face, leading some to joke that she was none-too-pleased with Mr. Obama’s actions. But Harvey said that interpretation seems dubious.

“If you take a 30-second soundbite of anybody at anytime, they can appear crazy,” he said. “A photo of this woman who could have been thinking about Mandela’s life, anything could have happened.

“I have met her,” Harvey added. “I don’t know a sweeter person.”

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