During a 20-minute interview with President Obama aired on Thursday's NBC Rock Center, host Brian Williams devoted a total of 1 minute 36 seconds to the subject of the terrorist attack in Libya. At the same time, four segments of soft coverage of the President's re-election campaign received a combined total of 2 minutes 19 seconds.
The promotional fluff included the President stopping by a pizza shop in Iowa (1 min 3 sec), appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (30 sec), having singer Katy Perry perform at a rally in Las Vegas (31 sec), and him picking up some donuts at a Krispy Kreme in Tampa (15 sec).
As NewsBusters' Brent Baker earlier reported, when Williams finally asked Obama about Libya, the Nightly News anchor portrayed the President as a victim of bad intelligence: "Have you been happy with the intelligence, especially in our post 9-11 world? The assessment of your intelligence community, as we stand here, is that it still was a spontaneous terrorist attack and were you happy with what you were able to learn as this unfolded?"
In the first portion of the multi-part interview, Williams was puzzled as to why the race was so close, given all of Obama's supposed accomplishments and advantages. In a later part, Williams urged Obama to hit Republicans on abortion and then lobbed softballs from the left.
While promoting the Obama profile on multiple NBC News programs, Williams repeatedly noted that the same interview offer had been extended to Mitt Romney. If the Governor takes him up on it, one wonders if the conversation will be anywhere near as friendly.