As the media swooned over First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech to the Democratic National Convention Monday night and applauded her defense of America’s “greatness,” journalists seemed to suffer from collective amnesia as they forgot Mrs. Obama’s controversial revelation that she was “proud” of the country for the “first time” during her husband’s 2008 presidential run.
Speaking at a campaign rally for Barack Obama in Madison, Wisconsin on February 18, 2008, Michelle Obama proclaimed: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” At the time, the press initially tried to ignore the major gaffe. However, when it was clear the controversy wasn’t going away, networks attempted to dismiss the issue as unimportant.
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Despite the First Lady’s very public reversal on having pride in the U.S., the convention coverage on Monday night and Tuesday morning failed to mention the obvious contradiction between her 2008 and 2016 comments. Instead, the broadcast and cable networks heaped hyperbolic praise on the presidential spouse.
The live special coverage on NBC, ABC, and CBS Monday night hailed the speech as “artfully painted” and filled with Obama’s “trademark...grace.”
On CNN, left-wing pundit Van Jones gushed: “...if you weren't moved by that, go see the doctor....She gave a clinic on how to connect to the American people.”
On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Morning Joe put them all to shame as the hosts and other journalists cheered the address as “One of the best speeches I've seen at a convention,” being in the “pantheon” of “great speeches,” and even remarked that “her optimism and her hope reminded me of Ronald Reagan.”