While on Tuesday evening the networks hyped President Obama "talking tough" to Russia and "belittling" them, only ABC pressed him on whether he was wrong about Russia during the 2012 campaign.
ABC's White House correspondent Jonathan Karl asked the President, "In the light of recent developments, do you think Mitt Romney had a point when he said that Russia is America's biggest geopolitical foe?" The World News aired the clip, as well as Obama's response that Russia is only a "regional power."
Yet while ABC at least pressed Obama on his knowledge of foreign affairs, CBS and NBC gave him a pass. The President talked down Russia as only a "regional power" yet the networks didn't even question that.
The CBS Evening News reported that "Mr. Obama belittled Russian president Vladimir Putin, calling Russia a 'regional power'." NBC's Brian Williams said that "the words President Obama chose today to describe Russia are getting a lot of attention tonight," and noted that Obama "went the faint praise route."
Like a stenographer, Williams simply repeated Obama's words – "A regional power" – for effect, before moving to the rest of the report.