NBC Frets ‘Awkward Backdrop’ and ‘Cloud’ Over Romney-Obama Lunch Snap Shot

Demonstrating once more how the NBC Nightly News has become the big audience outlet for MSNBC’s left-wing angst, Brian Williams couldn’t even keep such silliness out of what should have been a light-hearted story on Mitt Romney’s lunch with President Obama. ABC and CBS managed to do that.

On NBC, however, reporter Kristen Welker charged “there was an awkward backdrop to this snap shot” of Romney and Obama shaking hands in the Oval Office. She cited “Romney saying President Obama won because he gave gifts to key constituencies” as well as Romney adviser Stuart Stevens daring to suggest Obama “was a charismatic African-American President with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical.”

Journalists went easy on Obama? How outlandish!

Welker proceeded to play what she lacked the self-awareness to realize was a pretty embarrassing clip of her at the White House briefing, asking Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Does that op-ed, did the gift comments that Romney made, in any way cloud or set a certain backdrop to this lunch?”

Carney didn’t bite.

Flashback to earlier unintentional hilarity from Brian Williams during the Democratic convention: “Brian Williams to Valerie Jarrett: Positive Media Coverage for Obama Will be a ‘Tall Order’”

Story joined in progress on the Thursday, November 29 NBC Nightly News:

KRISTEN WELKER: ....Romney left his hotel in downtown Washington in a black SUV and arrived at about 12:30 PM, entering through the West Executive entrance. No Secret Service, no advisers by his side. White House officials said the men lunched on white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad. Governor Romney congratulated the President for the success of his campaign and they talked about America’s leadership in the world.

HARRY REID, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I am very happy to see this picture. It’s good for the American people.

WELKER: But there was an awkward backdrop to this snap shot. It comes on the heels of controversial comments, Romney saying President Obama won because he gave gifts to key constituencies. And former top Romney adviser, Stuart Stevens, wrote about the President’s victory in the Washington Post. Quote: “He was a charismatic African-American President with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical.”

WELKER TO WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: Does that op-ed, did the gift comments that Romney made, in any way cloud or set a certain backdrop to this lunch?

CARNEY: No, first of all, I think campaigns are a tough business. The debates are sharp. And in this case, they were very substantive and important.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center