Networks Gush Over Obama’s ‘Fancy Footwork’ and ‘Dancing Diplomacy’

All three networks on Thursday gushed over Barack Obama’s “fancy footwork” and “dancing diplomacy” in Argentina. Two days after a brutal terror attack in Brussels, the President traveled to Buenos Aires for a dinner with the country’s president. Today’s Savannah Guthrie lauded, “Now to that dance making headlines around the world. President Obama doing the tango.” An NBC graphic screamed, “Two to tango!” 

Guthrie added, “Both the President and First Lady got in on the action and the President's dance partner later told an Argentine newspaper ‘he is a very good dancer.’” Over on ABC’s Good Morning America, a network graphic promoted, “Fancy Footwork: President & First Lady Take to the Tango.” 

After hyping “the video everyone has been sharing,” co-host Michael Strahan “The Obamas's moves, they brought hundreds of people to their feet. Got a standing ovation.” 

A CBS This Morning graphic spun the President as engaging in “dancing diplomacy.” Norah O’Donnell touted, “President Obama has been practicing with some might call soft shoe diplomacy during his visit to Argentina.” 

However, CBS This Morning was the only program that offered any chiding for Obama’s baseball attendance in Cuba and dancing in the wake of terrorism. O'Donnell noted, “Some critics have questioned why the President continued his trip to Argentina and Cuba following the Brussels attack.”

In contrast, on CNN, Wednesday, a network panel dubbed the dancing in the wake of the attack “frivolous” and “shameful.” 

Transcripts of the March 24 reporting can be found below:  

Today

7am tease: 

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And two to tango. President Obama roped into Argentina's most famous dance at a state dinner and the reviews from his partner are in.

7:18

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Alright, now to that dance making headlines around the world. President Obama doing the tango, reluctantly it seems. The unexpected moment during a state dinner in Argentina hosted by Argentine President Mauricio Macri. Well, a professional dancer who had just performed walks over to the Commander-in-Chief and extends the invitation to join her on the dance floor. Well, first he did decline, you saw, because he didn't know the steps but he got into it as you can see. Both the President and First Lady got in on the action and the President’s dance partner later told an Argentine newspaper “he is a very good dancer.” Let's see if he sticks the landing there. 

Good Morning America 
7:17    

ABC GRAPHIC: Obamas’ Fancy Footwork: President & First Lady Take to the Tango 

ROBIN ROBERTS: As for the current President of the United States, he's down in Argentina. 

MICHAEL STRAHAN: He is down in Argentina and there's a video everyone has been sharing. The President and Michelle Obama visiting Argentina right now and they were at a state dinner in Buenos Aires when two professional dancer talked the first couple on to the dance floor. Take a look at that tango. The Obamas' moves, they brought hundreds of people to their feet. Got a standing ovation. 

ROBERTS: I’m sure. 

STRAHAN: And lots of social reaction overnight, social media reaction overnight. There’s a tweet from Southpaw comparing to his moves when he danced with Alaskan schoolchildren in September. 

ROBERTS: Okay. 

STRAHAN: I think this is great and I think the tango is more his style. 

ROBERTS: You know, when in Argentina, like you say when in Rome — he’s there. Maybe you could give him some tips there, Ginger.  

GINGER ZEE: Tango is the one we're waiting on. I got some work to do.

CBS This Morning
7:14

CBS GRAPHIC: Dancing Diplomacy: President and First Lady Tango in Argentina Visit

NORAH O’DONNELL: President Obama has been practicing with some might call soft shoe diplomacy during his visit to Argentina. Take a look at this at last night's state dinner in Buenos Aires.  The President was invited to dance the tango. Well, he stumbled a little bit at first, but eventually found his footing.  Hundreds of guests applauded the impromptu moment. Some critics have questioned why the President continued his trip to Argentina and Cuba following the Brussels attack. While at a news conference earlier in the day, President Obama argued that changing his schedule would show weakness to ISIS. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.