Somber Nets Mope Over Obama's Departure

The end of Barack Obama’s reign as president of the United States appeared to hit the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) pretty hard. All three of them took the time to bid the president an emotional farewell at the end of their Wednesday night programs. “While President Obama was busy changing the White House … the White House was also changing him,” remarked anchor Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News.

The report by NBC’s Harry Smith was nothing but gush. “We've grown accustom to this face, and my how it's changed,” he fawned, “Since a speech in 2004 Barack Obama has occupied the focus of many a camera.” He seemed almost euphoric has his listed off everything Obama has been to America:

We, though, view him through the lens of our own expectations, our dreams, our biases. Imagine how any of us would have fared under the circumstances. You are president of the United States, commander in chief, leader of the free world but also comforter in chief, scold and cheerleader, father, husband, wearer of weird shirts and Turkey pardoner. We've seen him pensive and watched him preach. We have even heard him sing.

“But the job does something to you. There is a weight, there's a responsibility that can't be measured,” Smith said as he flashed pictures of how Obama and other presidents have aged, “Their faces are like an odometer of human experience. Over the years, you see them rack up the miles.” “There may be victories and triumphs but no one leaves without detractors and disappointments,” he continued, “So to survive, you grow a thick skin and as thick as it may be, we can still see right through it.

On CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley using the president’s own words to reassure viewers that things would be alright under a President Donald Trump. “Well, today, with eight years of experience, he said if we're true to the things that feel right, the world gets a little bit better, and that's what this presidency has been about,” Pelley stated, “Presidents always come to Washington to change history, but history always changes them.

Pelley also touted, “In our poll, 62 percent of Americans are telling President Obama ‘Well done.’

The superficial ABC was fixated on the final wave Obama would give as he left the White House. “As much as it is an exit, it is a rite of passage. The outgoing president, one last wave goodbye,” hyped Linsey Davis on World News Tonight.

In 2009, President Obama waved from the ground,” Davis reminisced, “Three days from now, he'll be on that chopper, no longer called Marine One, which is reserved for the current president.” She highlighted a video shared of the first lady “taking it in” one last time as she walked through the White House. “Trading the White House in for this rented house. Their golf clubs and flat screen TV already moved in,” the ABC reporter joked.

Eight years ago, the networks seemed to be too enthralled with Obama’s inauguration to give George W. Bush a solemn farewell. With how they’re treating the incoming president it’s doubtful that will share this level of sadness. 

Transcripts below:

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

NBC Nightly News
January 18, 2017
7:27:09 PM Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Finally, today he made history eight years ago becoming this country's first African-American commander in chief. And while President Obama was busy changing the White House, as our Harry Smith explains, the White House was also changing him.

[Cuts to video]

HARRY SMITH: We've grown accustom to this face, and my how it's changed. Since a speech in 2004 –

BARACK OBAMA: There is not a liberal America and conservative America. There is the United States of America.

SMITH: -- Barack Obama has occupied the focus of many a camera. We, though, view him through the lens of our own expectations, our dreams, our biases. Imagine how any of us would have fared under the circumstances. You are president of the United States, commander in chief, leader of the free world but also comforter in chief, scold and cheerleader, father, husband, wearer of weird shirts and Turkey pardoner.

OBAMA: You are hereby pardoned.

SMITH: We've seen him pensive and watched him preach. We have even heard him sing.

OBAMA: I'm so in love with you.

SMITH: But the job does something to you. There is a weight, there's a responsibility that can't be measured. Look at our presidents. Their faces are like an odometer of human experience. Over the years, you see them rack up the miles. The job is never a breeze.

JOE WILSON: You lie!

SMITH: There is always conflict, a world's worth of cares and concerns and no matter who they are, over time it shows. There may be victories and triumphs but no one leaves without detractors and disappointments. So to survive, you grow a thick skin and as thick as it may be, we can still see right through it. Harry Smith, NBC news, New York.

...

CBS Evening News
January 18, 2017
6:57:39 PM Eastern

SCOTT PELLEY: In our poll, 62 percent of Americans are telling President Obama "Well done." And at his final news conference today, he told them don't worry.

BARACK OBAMA: I believe in the American people. I believe that people are more good than bad. I believe tragic things happen. I think there's evil in the world, but I think that at the end of the day, if we work hard and if we're true to those things in us, that feel true and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time. This is true that behind closed doors I curse more than I do publicly. ( Laughter ) And sometimes I get mad and frustrated, like everybody else does. But at my core, I think we're going to be okay.

PELLEY: When he first took office, Mr. Obama said, "I didn't come here for small steps. I came to provide sweeping change." Well, today, with eight years of experience, he said if we're true to the things that feel right, the world gets a little bit better, and that's what this presidency has been about. Presidents always come to Washington to change history, but history always changes them.

...

ABC
World News Tonight
January 18, 2017
6:57:43 PM

DAVID MUIR: Finally tonight here, a rite of passage for any outgoing first family. The final wave, but what comes next? Here's ABC's Linsey Davis.

[Cuts to video]

LINSEY DAVIS: As much as it is an exit, it is a rite of passage. The outgoing president, one last wave goodbye. In 2009, President Obama waved from the ground. Three days from now, he'll be on that chopper, no longer called Marine One, which is reserved for the current president. It'll likely be called, Executive One. Flying the first family to Joint Base Andrews where they'll take one final flight aboard the presidential plane, no longer called Air Force One, which is also reserved for the current president. In route to Palm Springs for vacation.

On Monday the Obamas visited this DC shelter where the White House recently donated Sasha and Malia's backyard swing set. And the first lady posted this video on Twitter this morning captioned, "Taking it in on one last walk through the people's house." Trading the White House in for this rented house. Their golf clubs and flat screen TV already moved in. Linsey Davis, ABC new, New York.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Events Trump Inauguration Covert Liberal Activists Double Standards Trump transition ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Scott Pelley Linsey Davis Lester Holt Harry Smith Barack Obama

Sponsored Links