While the media have been eager to use the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion as an occasion to smear President Trump, 10 years ago, coverage of the day went very differently. In 2009, as Barack Obama prepared to attend the first D-Day anniversary of his of presidency, MSNBC's adulation of him reached new heights when then-Newsweek editor Evan Thomas told Hardball host Chris Matthews that Obama was “sort of God.”
On June 5 that year, while previewing Obama’s upcoming speech in Normandy, France, Thomas hoped the Democrat would surpass Ronald Reagan’s iconic 1984 address commemorating the 40th anniversary of the battle: “Reagan was all about America....Obama is ‘we are above that now.’ We're not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial. We stand for something – I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.”
That stood in sharp contrast to how Andrea Mitchell and her fellow journalists talked about Trump on Wednesday, as he prepared to deliver his speech marking D-Day. Mitchell fretted that the President was trying to “challenge the post-World War II order,” while The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey slammed Trump as an “egomaniac.”
The obvious irony is that in 2009 MSNBC was cheering Obama’s egomania by comparing him to a deity. As much as reporters complain that Trump places too much focus on himself, a decade ago, the press were thrilled to make this solemn anniversary all about Obama.