Three years ago, then-CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric fawned over Barack Obama: “You’re so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken?” On ABC’s World News, Diane Sawyer often softens her interviews with the President by tossing in questions about college basketball, asking, at the start of the U.S. military operation against Libya last year, “How much do you think Kentucky will win by?”
But of the three evening news anchors, by far the most admiring of Obama is NBC’s Brian Williams who has — no big surprise — been rewarded with exclusive access to the White House Situation Room for what promises to be a prime time Obama campaign infomercial (on Wednesday’s Rock Center) on how the brave President monitored the mission as Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s compound and killed the terrorist mastermind exactly one year ago. (Round-up of Williams' most fawning Obama moments, with video, below the jump).
Hillary Clinton says the expression on her face in that now iconic picture of the White House Situation Room taken the day Osama bin Laden was killed is "the way I usually look when my husband drags me to an action movie."
Such was told to NBC's Brian Williams for a Rock Center special to be aired Wednesday which was previewed on Sunday's Meet the Press (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
During a report for the April 18 edition of NBC's Rock Center, correspondent Ted Koppel was right at home with French socialist campaign workers: "...it is the Socialist campaign directed by these three young men, Vincent, Arthur and Guillaume, that has the distinctly American flavor." Guillaume declared: "We've been pushing this, you know, let's do what Obama did for two years."
At the same time, only seconds earlier, Koppel touted attacks against current French President Nicolas Sarkozy for being too American: "This US-style rally is one reason that President Sarkozy's rivals call him La American, 'the American.' It is not meant as a compliment."
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams touted how "plans for Mitt Romney's home near San Diego include a four-car garage and a car elevator for each of the cars," and that "his opponents and Democrats will no doubt have at it." Later, on NBC's Rock Center, Williams announced: "So where does tonight's story come from? NBC News can confirm it came directly from the opposition research of a rival candidate." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing a Rock Center report by correspondent Willie Geist on political opposition research, Williams proclaimed the Romney story was "only going to add to an image problem that includes Swiss bank accounts and, as he put it famously, 'a couple of Cadillacs.'"
In an interview with British Prime Minister David Cameron aired on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams cautioned Cameron about one of his predecessors: "You'll concede, Prime Minister Blair may never recover from that label that was attached to him. Someone used the word 'poodle' to describe his relationship with President Bush as the march to war [in Iraq] continued."
Moments earlier, Williams touted Cameron's criticism of the Iraq war: "Cameron, whose wife was in New York on 9/11, gave a speech in '06 criticizing the Iraq war, in which he said, 'Democracy cannot quickly be imposed from the outside. Liberty grows from the ground. It cannot be dropped from the air by an unmanned drone.'"
In an interview on NBC's Rock Center on Wednesday, Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny demonstrated how pervasive media distortion of Sarah Palin and American conservatism has become: "Conservative groups, some of which support me, are far more liberal than their counterparts in the USA. Rallies in support of Sarah Palin have much more nationalistic slogans than in Russia."
Touting the newly-elected mayor of Ithaca, New York, 24-year old Democrat Svante Myrick, on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, host Brian Williams drew parallels to Barack Obama: "He grew up a bi-racial kid with an unusual name. He went into politics. If that story sounds familiar, then you must meet the young man they must now call 'Mr. Mayor.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the segment, Williams told viewers to "think about what of this story sounds familiar." During her report, correspondent Kate Snow promoted the comparison: "When he was in high school, Myrick's grandmother gave him a copy of Barack Obama's book, 'Dreams From My Father.' And for another bi-racial kid struggling with his identity, growing up without his father, raised by a white mother, he saw himself in that story."
Leading off Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams spun hard for the Obama administration as he distorted Mitt Romney's opposition to the government bailout of the auto industry: "The fight for Michigan as Mitt Romney scrambles to explain to the voters in his home state why he thought the auto industry should be allowed to fail."
Having ignored the fact that Romney called for a "managed bankruptcy" of General Motors and Chrysler in order for them to reorganize and become healthier companies, Williams announced to viewers: "Mitt Romney's in a tough spot....he's working hard to explain why he was against the government's auto industry bailouts. That doesn't go over well in the state we associate with Detroit and American cars."
In a live interview with John F. Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry fretted over her sharing unflattering details about the late president: "What about Caroline [Kennedy], who is still alive?...Did you think about, as you talk about unburdening yourself, the idea that you've burdened other people now with this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alford stood by her decision to go public with the affair: "Well, I don't intentionally burden someone else. I'm telling my story. And that is what – that is what I needed to do." Curry followed up: "Any push-back from the Kennedy family? Yes or no?" Alford replied: "No, nothing."
Following a revealing interview with former JFK mistress Mimi Alford on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews, along with liberal historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Richard Reeves, were invited on the broadcast to give a sycophantic defense of the womanizing president. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Touting his new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero," Matthews proclaimed: "The greatest heroes are often the most flawed." The Hardball host went on to gush over how Kennedy "colorized American politics....made it a technicolor movie, he made it exciting." In his characteristic fashion, Matthews concluded: "And so with it all, the total picture still arouses the country."
Following an NBC Nightly News preview Wednesday evening of the Rock Center promotion for a book by Mimi Alford, in which she recounts how the 45-year-old President Kennedy seduced and carried on a sexual relationship with her when she was a 19-year-old White House intern, anchor Brian Williams conveyed the distress of JFK sycophants in his audience – and admitted his family was amongst them.
Talking with Meredith Vieira, Williams cited “a lot of e-mails” from people, who “sounds like a lot of us,” had a “picture of John F. Kennedy in the house when we were kids” and who are now “wondering, why do this now? Why tell her story now?”
Everyone knows the folks at MSNBC nearly faint in outrage whenever the words “Obama” and “Kenya” are used in the same sentence. Barack Hussein Obama Senior had four wives (one at a time), and fathered eight children from 1958 to 1982, but climbing that family tree is no doubt seen as racist by MSNBC.
But on Monday night’s Last Word on MSNBC, host Lawrence O’Donnell not only mocked Mitt Romney’s great-grandfather Miles Park Romney leaving America for Mexico to preserve his polygamy. He claimed their history is “profoundly weirder” than you would think – and didn’t really explain what he meant. [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
While Brian Williams warned of "those lethal weapons known as super-PACs" in the GOP primary race on NBC's Rock Center, he and correspondent Ted Koppel failed to recognize their own network's routine advocacy on behalf of liberal causes and in favor of Democratic candidates. Not to mention the barrage of negative coverage directed toward conservatives and Republicans.
The report itself on the Monday night broadcast was pushing the traditional liberal cause of greater government regulation of campaign finance. Koppel interviewed comedian Stephen Colbert, whose farcical super-PAC in South Carolina has begun running ads calling Mitt Romney a "serial killer." Koppel praised it as "proving how ridiculous this system has become."
In a report on Monday's Rock Center on NBC, correspondent Mike Taibbi described how Mitt Romney's ancestors settled in Mexico during the late 1800's: "Mitt has said and written almost nothing about them over the years. One of his rare quotes, that they left the U.S. to escape persecution for their religious beliefs."
Taibbi then noted: "In fact, Mitt's great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, led that first expedition to escape not persecution but prosecution for polygamy, what Mormons called 'plural marriage.'" Later, Taibbi cited one of Romney's Mexican cousins on the issue: "Mike, a church school administrator here, says Mitt should just tell the whole story, even about the family's polygamist past that died with the great-grandfather Miles."
On NBC's Rock Center on Monday, correspondent Mike Taibbi led the broadcast with a report on Mitt Romney's family roots in Mexico: "It's a little known fact that there's a whole branch of Mitt's family living right here in Mexico, including his second cousin, Layton Romney." [Audio available here]
Following the report, host Brian Williams used the story to discuss Mitt Romney's stance on illegal immigration, observing: "And couldn't you make the case the family tree is an aspect of the Dream Act?" Taibbi agreed: "Absolutely. I mean, his father [George Romney] could be the poster boy for the Dream Act." [View video after the jump]
Following correspondent Andrea Mitchell referring to Iowa as "Too white, too evangelical, too rural" on Sunday's NBC Nightly News, on Monday's Rock Center, correspondent Willie Geist spoke to University of Iowa Professor Stephen Bloom, who similarly fretted: "It's basically a white, very, very Christian state."
Geist explained how Bloom has been "in hiding" since writing a scathing article in The Atlantic attacking Iowa as, "An assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that the sun will come out tomorrow." Bloom also ranted: "Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die."
On Monday's NBC Rock Center, correspondent Harry Smith began a story on an American-Muslim comedy troupe touring the American south by asserting to comedian Dean Obeidallah that, "A lot of Americans hate you." Obeidallah was slightly taken aback and replied: "I'm not sure how many actually hate me, but I know what you're getting at." [Audio available here]
Smith went on to explain the goal of the comedy tour: "Doing their best to try to win friends and influence people. Pilgrims armed with punch lines, in hopes of shattering a few stereotypes. They call their tour 'The Muslims Are Coming.'" Smith again proclaimed American bigotry: "Nearly half of all Americans admit to feeling some prejudice towards Muslims. In a funny way, the comics are fighting for their civil rights." [View video after the jump]
"Either we're spoiled by TV's unlimited population of giant personalities or this woman is one of the most boring people of her era," observed Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever regarding Chelsea Clinton's television journalism debut on last night's Rock Center.
"It's no surprise whatsoever that Chelsea Clinton didn't electrify broadcast journalism with her debut" on last night's Rock Center, but, "what was surprising" was "how someone can be on TV in such a prominent way and, in her big moment, display so very little charisma -- none at all."