While NBC and the rest of the media slammed Mitt Romney in 2012 for daring to voice security concerns about the London Olympics, Friday's Today show welcomed the former Republican nominee with open arms as a suddenly respected Olympic expert and urged him to scrutinize the safety of the upcoming winter games in Sochi, Russia. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC's stunning turnaround just happened to coincide with Romney no longer being a political threat to President Obama.
After Romney mentioned security problems in London during an interview with Nightly News anchor Brian Williams in July of 2012, White House correspondent Peter Alexander appeared on Today to hype British tabloid headlines like "Mitt the Twit."
Compare that to Friday's Today, when co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed:
Breaking news, yet another video threatening the Sochi Olympics discovered online overnight. Can those games be kept safe? We'll ask the man who ran the Olympics in Salt Lake City, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is here for an exclusive live interview....He knows a thing or two about security and we'll talk to him in a moment.
In 2012, Lauer invited British Prime Minister David Cameron to attack Romney for giving an honest assessment of the security situation at the London games.
Opening the July 26 edition of Nightly News in 2012, Williams declared: "The backlash here in London over what Mitt Romney said to us here yesterday about the Olympics. It erupted today in public and now the question is, how did a Romney campaign overseas trip end up offending so many people here in London."
Such hyperventilating in the press was the height of hypocrisy given how much coverage media outlets gave to the numerous security missteps leading up to the summer games that year.
Interviewing Romney on Friday, co-host Savannah Guthrie urged him to be critical of Russian security efforts: "You see these reports as well as we do, as a person who was once in charge of delivering and executing on a safe Olympic games, how concerned are you by what you hear coming out of Sochi?...I guess the gut check question is, would you go to Sochi? Would you send your own family to Sochi?"