The conventions have come and gone, but as always, the TV network "news" coverage of Tampa and Charlotte demonstrated once again that these people have no intention of trying to be equally positive or equally aggressive with the two major parties. Their obvious, but unstated, agenda is to drag Obama over the finish line to re-election.
Always on pins and needles for his man Obama, NBC anchor Brian Williams told top Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett at the convention season's end that they will need the "tall order" of "nothing but positive coverage" over the next 60 days.
People like Williams will certainly try their hardest. In an interview with Michelle Obama, Williams asked whether a New York Times reporter was correct in saying that her husband is "a proud yet humbled president, a confident yet scarred president, a dreamer mugged by reality." Williams asked Mrs. Obama, "Does that resemble the man you know?"
That's not a softball question. That's a spoon full of baby food. He went on to another syrupy question about how fast the first daughters were growing up.
For a dramatic contrast, let's turn to Williams' interview with Ann Romney during the GOP convention. He scolded Mrs. Romney for telling NBC's Natalie Morales, "I believe in my heart that Mitt is going to save America."
That was apparently an obnoxiously impolite statement.
Williams later said, "that jumped off the screen to me. Someone who knows you conceded that if Mrs. Obama used words like that --'Barack was going to save America' -- here'd be all kinds of hubbub."
That's ridiculous. In her 2008 convention speech, Mrs. Obama all but said just that when she gauzily described her husband's impending ascension to the presidency as the juncture "where the current of history meets this new tide of hope."
Williams must have completely agreed with that, since there was no "hubbub," even if Obama's "hope" now has been "mugged by reality," to borrow from The New York Times.
Williams interviewed Mrs. Obama shortly after her convention speech in 2008. She told him: "I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president." In other words, she was saying roughly what Mrs. Romney said. Williams then jumped right back to placing the "hubbub" in its proper perspective: those evil Republicans. He asked, "What of the attacks has busted through to you? What makes you angriest at John McCain, the Republicans? What's being said about your husband that you, you want to shout from the mountain tops is not true?"
Then he added to the painting of history and hope: "How do you begin to wrap your head around the bigger picture of, if you're successful, you'll move into a house where, when the Adams [family] moved in, slaves were finishing the plaster over the fireplace. How does that work?"
To be fair, other anchors also pounded Mrs. Romney and saved their go for Mrs. Obama. CBS anchorman Scott Pelley reminded Mrs. Obama how "in your speech on the first night of the convention, you said that the presidency 'does not change a person, it reveals the person.'" He added: "I wonder, has this experience revealed anything to you about your husband that you did not know?"
Then he asked the first lady, "What do you get tired and frustrated about?" She tried to demur, suggesting she was impressed with her husband's focus on moving America forward. Then Pelley ludicrously suggested, "You could have said that persistent questioning by reporters gets under your skin. That's a possibility." She couldn't answer that, either.
She should have burst out laughing. During the Republican convention, Pelley attempted to embarrass Ann Romney with a gotcha question: "The president is starting a tour called the Romney-Ryan Wrong for Women tour...A lot of women look at the Republican platform on abortion, contraception, a number of issues, and ask the question whether Republicans have women's best interests at heart?"
ABC provided its partisan favors for the Democrats, as well. On Wednesday night of the Charlotte convention, "World News" deliberately skipped reporting the embarrassment of Democrats booing loudly as some of them voted to put a single mention of "God" back in the party platform. Instead, ABC devoted three minutes to fill-in anchor David Muir talking to Caroline Kennedy about a tribute film to Ted Kennedy. Muir also gushed about Michelle Obama "electrifying the crowd here and, apparently, someplace else: Twitter. Nearly twice as many tweets per minute as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney."
All the national media's ridiculous overpraise of Obama in 2008 looks now like an enormous swindle, a real-life telling of "The Emperor's New Clothes." But the networks just keep gushing about the wondrous gifts of the Obamas, now asserting that it is the Romneys who are somehow out of touch with reality.