On Wednesday, David Gergen ranked a supposed foreign policy accomplishment of President Obama higher than the killing of Osama bin Laden during CNN's special coverage of the Democrat's "historic..decision to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba." Gergen contended that "ultimately, he's going to be judged very favorably by history...on climate change. It probably is the most significant thing he's done – the breakthrough he had with China – and if he can get the world to a better agreement, that's going to go down as a major legacy."
During the five minutes of coverage that Thursday's NBC Today provided on President Obama reopening diplomatic relations with Cuba, only twenty-three seconds was devoted to critics of the controversial move. In addition, the only opponent featured was Republican Senator Marco Rubio, despite Democratic Senator Robert Menendez equally condemning the presidential action.
The journalists of Good Morning America on Thursday cheered Barack Obama's efforts to "help thaw a Cold War" and offered little in the way of criticism for the President's actions to normalize relations with Cuba. Reporter Jim Avila hyped, "Well soon many more Americans will be able to hop a plane to Havana, take a tour, even legally buy one of those famous cigars."
During a discussion on Wednesday's Hardball about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's reticence to speak out on pressing political issues and her tendency to eschew spontaneity in favor of carefully crafted, calculated statements, panelist Michelle Bernard did raise the point that Clinton has tended to evolve over time to be what she thinks her audience wants her to be. As an example, she raised the audio recording that came to light earlier this year wherein she chuckled as she recalled her successful defense of an alleged child rapist.
Yet when Bernard brought up that allegation, fellow panelist and leftist writer David Corn of Mother Jones magazine objected strenuously, trying to keep Bernard from recounting the details of the incident.
Ed Schultz one-upped colleague Chuck Todd on his MSNBC program on Wednesday. Hours after Todd likened President Obama's policy announcement on Cuba to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Schultz compared the Democrat's address to a famous 1987 speech given at the Wall by his predecessor, Ronald Reagan: "Isn't this Barack Obama's 'tear down this wall, Mr. Castro' – that kind of a moment? I mean, if change can take place with the Soviet Union, why can't it take place with the Cuban people here?"
During an NBC News Special Report on Wednesday, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams could barely contain his excitement over President Obama announcing the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba: "A momentous day, especially for those Americans old enough to remember the Cold War. The curtain came down between Cuba and the United States in January of 1961 and in just a moment diplomatic relations, at least the first steps to which, will be reestablished....It is a day of momentous change, fast-moving change..."
All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning worried if yet another addition to the Bush "dynasty" will be good for the country. Yet, these same networks were excited earlier this year about the continuation of the Clinton brand.
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd spun former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announcing that he was "exploring" the possibility of running for president in 2016 as a boost for the candidacy of Hillary Clinton: "By the way, the big Jeb Bush announcement helps Hillary because it'll scare Democrats and rally them around Hillary even more."
Just a few seconds after complaining that Rush Limbaugh has a loopy "conspiracy theory" for why former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) is seriously exploring a presidential bid in 2016, MSNBC's Chris Matthews offered his own, which amounted to this: Limbaugh opposes Jeb's bid because he "knows" a "Tea Party" GOP nominee would go down in flames to Hillary Clinton, thus ensuring him at least four more years in the "opposition" and thus better ratings.
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell could barely conceal her disgust while reporting on a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing a majority of Americans supported the enhanced interrogation tactics used by the CIA after September 11th: "51% said that the procedures used, the interrogation enhanced tactics, which have been defined as torture, 51% said that they were acceptable under the circumstances. Only 28% said that they went too far."
Former Islamist Maajid Nawas warned Westerners on Monday's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN about the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Sydney, Australia. Nawas underlined that it was a "mistake" to label perpetrator Man Haron Monis a "lone wolf," as it "doesn't necessary describe the phenomenon correctly....what we're really dealing with here is fundamental inspiration. People are inspired by the ideas; the leaders; the symbols; and the narratives – the iconography behind this ideology."
Before the hostage standoff with an Islamic gunman in Sydney had even ended on Monday, the media had already seized on a social media campaign that offered protection to Australian Muslims against imagined bigotry that had not occurred. On Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos touted: "The #IllRideWithYou trending worldwide on Twitter. It's a message of tolerance from Sydney residents offering solidarity with Muslims in the cities. Locals concerned people in religious attire could be harassed."