Then there were just the nauseating hyperbolic flourishes, like nominating the Obamas to be America's "royal family." NBC's Brian Williams oozed, "There is no denying the Obamas from America are receiving a rock star reception on this trip. One London paper today called them American royalty." So did NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd: "America's unofficial royalty, the president and first lady, reconnected tonight for more ceremonial duties, including a private audience with actual royalty, the Queen herself." Over on CNN, reporter Alina Cho chucked aside the qualifier altogether: "As America's first lady embarks upon her first trip to Europe, the world is watching the royal family of the United States."
That's pretty rich for a guy who was elected with a landslide of 52.9 percent of the vote.? The media's wowing would not stop. In fact, the "ugly American" boastfulness that liberal media types claim to dislike so much was breaking out all over. CNN's Alina Cho said the British prime minister's wife was uglier than Mrs. Obama: "In fact, [liberal journalist] Tina Brown, as you know, joked about an hour ago that Sara Brown is a beautiful girl, but, you know, everybody sort of knows that right now, at least, she pales in comparison to Michelle Obama." When the Obamas flew to Paris, CBS's Mark Phillips was thumbing his nose at the inferior supermodel spouse of France's president: "For as long as Michelle Obama is in France, Carla Bruni may be French toast."
What must Laura Bush be thinking? When she debuted in Europe in June of 2001, one Washington Post headline was "The First Lady Takes Europe By Calm." You can't find a network news story on it. Obviously, one reason was Mrs. Bush's desire to stay politely in the background, her humility that no one elected her. But another was the media's glaringly obvious lack of affection for her, unlike the fawning frenzies over the last two Democratic wives.