For the second night in a row, on Sunday night the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts all led with Barack Obama's overseas trip as CBS Evening News anchor Forrest Sawyer trumpeted: “Tonight, Barack Obama on the U.S. challenge in Afghanistan, laying out the stakes in an exclusive CBS News interview.” Reporter Lara Logan set up a condensed version of her interview which had consumed the first ten minutes of Face the Nation: “Speaking out for the first time since arriving in Kabul this weekend, Senator Barack Obama offered a bleak assessment of the worsening conditions inside Afghanistan.”
On ABC's World News, anchor David Muir led with how “Barack Obama is calling it one of the biggest mistakes made in the war on terror: The Bush administration's decision to focus on Iraq rather than Afghanistan.” NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt admired Obama's need to walk on a “diplomatic and political tight rope, trying to balance his role as a U.S. Senator versus that of a presidential candidate” before heralding:
His words tonight are reverberating from the war fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq to the Pentagon.
Logan concluded her Evening News story from Kabul by relaying his reassuring priority:
Obama told us that the main focus of the U.S. war against terrorism has to be Afghanistan and he said his mission here as President would be to disable al-Qaeda and the Taliban so they can no longer target the U.S. or its allies.
Transcript and video of Logan's interview, as posted on CBS's page for Face the Nation.
My Saturday night NewsBusters item, “Day 1 of Obama's Magical Media Tour: All Air from Outside the Paint!”
Muir opened the Sunday, July 20 World News:
Good evening. Barack Obama is calling it one of the biggest mistakes made in the war on terror: The Bush administration's decision to focus on Iraq rather than Afghanistan. And Obama had a captive audience today as he sat down with the President of Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai. Obama's trying to sharpen his policy differences with John McCain on this, his second day of his foreign tour...
Holt led NBC Nightly News:
Good evening, everyone. Barack Obama's venture onto the world stage has already proven to be a walk onto a diplomatic and political tight rope, trying to balance his role as a U.S. Senator versus that of a presidential candidate. He came face-to-face in Kabul today with the leader of Afghanistan to talk about a resurgent Taliban. But Obama is also talking U.S. policy and his own vision of the future of American military power in the region. And his words tonight are reverberating from the war fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq to the Pentagon...