MSNBC Trumpets: 'This is What the World Wanted'

At about 2:50 AM EST Wednesday morning, MSNBC went live to NBC News reporter Dawna Friesen in London for world reaction to Barack Obama's election and she triumphantly declared: “It's not an overstatement to say that this is what the world wanted. Poll after poll done in countries around the world over the past few months has showed that people wanted Barack Obama to win.”

After blurry video of Kenyans dancing and singing a song which “had only two words, 'Obama' and 'miracle,'” Friesen held up the front page of London's left of center The Independent and explained how the newspaper's headline “dubbed” Obama "The history man." She also decided to highlight:
The diplomatic editor of The Independent interestingly writing that now is the time to undo the damage done by George W. Bush. I think much of the world does see this as really turning a page, moving on from George Bush. And the diplomatic editor says there's a global yearning for a seismic shift in American foreign policy.
For the article, “Farewell Dubya. Now to undo the damage done...; There’s a global yearning for a seismic shift in American foreign policy -- but Barack Obama will be hamstrung by high expectations,” by Anne Penketh.

My NewsBusters item on Friesen's October 17 NBC Nightly News story, “NBC: 'If World Had a Vote, Barack Obama Would Win in a Landslide,'” recounted Friesen's earlier touting of world attitudes:
Friday's NBC Nightly News devoted a story to how around the world “people want to turn a page on the Bush years” and, as if it's relevant, “if the world had a vote, Barack Obama would win in a landslide.” A suggestion to viewers on what they must do to restore America's honor? Reporter Dawna Friesen warned that the next President “faces a grim reality: Much of the world deeply distrusts, even dislikes, the United States” and she rued “much of the sympathy and solidarity that existed after 9/11 evaporated during the Bush years.”  

Pointing to Iraq as the primary culprit (“so many believed it was invaded on false pretenses”), Friesen also highlighted “other reasons,” such as how “after Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. is perceived by many as a violator rather than an upholder of human rights” and “America is seen contributing, but not doing much to solve, global warming.” From Istanbul, she concluded:
Here in Turkey, as in much of the world, people want to turn a page on the Bush years. In fact, polls show the image of the U.S. has improved slightly this year simply because President Bush is leaving. And, that if the world had a vote, Barack Obama would win in a landslide. Regardless of who wins, the world is clamoring for a new America in 2009.
Friesen, live from London on MSNBC at about 2:50 AM EST on Wednesday, November 5:
You know, it's not an overstatement to say that this is what the world wanted. Poll after poll done in countries around the world over the past few months has showed that people wanted Barack Obama to win. And in Kenya, overnight -- that is the country that is the ancestral home of Obama's late father -- overnight, they were all up in the little village where his extended family still lives watching the results come in. And when they realized that their favorite son was going to become America's 44th President, the dancing, the singing began. Apparently the song had only two words, "Obama" and "miracle." Kenya's President has announced that tomorrow will be a national holiday in honor of Barack Obama.

This morning, reaction is beginning to come in from around the world, from world leaders. French President Nicholas Sarkozy issuing a statement saying: “At a time when we must face huge challenges together, your election has raised enormous hopes in France, in Europe, and beyond." And from Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan, he said, "I applaud the American people for the great decision and I hope the massive show of concern for human beings and a lack of interest in race and color while electing the President will go along way in bringing the same values to the rest of the world sooner or later."

And as people in Britain wake and up head to work this morning, their morning papers show the face, pretty much, of one man. This is the cover of The Independent this morning. They've dubbed him "The history man." It's the headline. The diplomatic editor of The Independent interestingly writing that now is the time to undo the damage done by George W. Bush. I think much of the world does see this as really turning a page, moving on from George Bush. And the diplomatic editor says there's a global yearning for a seismic shift in American foreign policy. 
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center