President Biden's trip to his ancestral homeland of Ireland spurred a festive round of positive coverage from the networks and newspapers like The Washington Post. They didn't ask questions about why Hunter Biden accompanied his father on the trip. This kind of gush is obviously not something the national media did when President Trump visited Ireland in 2019.
Reporters skipped over a series of gaffes -- Biden putting Jesse Helms in South Carolina, ending a speech with "Let's go lick the world," and mixing up the All Blacks rugby team with the Black and Tans, a brutal police force the British used against the Irish. NBC's Lester Holt and Peter Alexander showed happy Irish folks waving American flags and played a series of less confused Biden video clips from what Holt called a "landmark" trip.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough told everyone to ignore the gaffes, and held up positive headlines in Irish newspapers, like one saying "BIDEN JOY."
All this reminds us of Mitt Romney's trip abroad in July of 2012, where the networks held up headlines from London reading "MITT THE TWIT." NBC's Peter Alexander did it, and so did CBS reporter Jan Crawford. She said "Can you see it? 'Mitt the Twit.' That's not the type of headline you want." But it was definitely the headline CBS and NBC wanted!
Romney also visited Poland, where Peter Alexander underlined his gaffes again, claiming it all "overshadowed" his trip. Who decides what "overshadows" a politician? A very political news media. A female reporter shouted at Romney near Poland's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, "Governor Romney, do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?!"
The same Washington Post that poured sugar on Biden's Ireland trip poured acid on Romney in 2012. Reporter Philip Rucker announced on behalf of all journalists that Romney would never measure up the grandeur that was the Barack Obama European Rock Star Tour of 2008: “For any candidate on a foreign trip, the margin for error is small, with every misstep magnified, fairly or not — especially so for Romney, whose visit is drawing inevitable comparisons to Barack Obama’s largely successful foreign tour as a candidate in 2008.”
NBC also celebrated Obama's trips to Ireland in 2009 (with Al Roker) and 2011 (with Norah O'Donnell), highlighting his obscure Irish roots. Enjoy the podcast below, or wherever you listen to podcasts.