Just like ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Friday morning, NBC's Matt Lauer framed the end of the week as a "good week" for Obama, regardless of the bad reception his speech on Tuesday night received. Neither network ruined the Obama mojo by interviewing a Republican guest to make the reasonable suggestion that a week without the oil spill plugged is not entirely a "good week." The networks sounded more like supportive political consultants than journalists:
MATT LAUER: David, the latest polling numbers we have showed that about 52% of the American people disapprove of the way the President is handling this oil spill crisis. That's up from 33% about a month ago. But I want to point out that this polling was done before the President's latest trip to the Gulf, which was a two-day trip; before his Oval Office address to the nation; before that $20 billion fund was set up. Take me inside the White House -- do they think they had a good week?
DAVID GREGORY: Well, they do.
You know, the feeling initially was that this was going to be some kind of turning point, and I don't think they believe that they've turned this thing around. You know, the President likes to use the -- you know, the big ocean liner analogy at times, saying it's very difficult to make a quick turn in that circumstance, and they don't necessarily think they've done that.
But there's three important things: establishing that command and control out of the White House that they feel the President did; two, talking about a deadline here, the end of June, when they might be able to siphon off 90% of the oil; and, most importantly, that deliverable, that $20 billion fund.
Ultimately, as you know, and as the President told you in your interview recently, it's about really sticking it to BP at this point, being that consumer advocate, looking out for people on the Gulf coast. I think the President went a long way in being able to do that by beginning to secure the money for those people who need it most.
Neither network focused on what Rep. Henry Waxman really did NOT want to focus on yesterday, although Republicans like Rep. Michael Burgess insisted it was missing: holding Obama's appointed leaders or other staffers at MMS responsible for approving the BP drilling scheme. As usual, the networks don't want to make Team Obama accountable. They only want to keep Team Obama from sinking in the polls.