Is this how Stalin charmed New York Times reporter/Soviet apologist Walter Duranty?

Former "Today" show co-host Meredith Vieira has become the latest example of a prominent figure in American media with a weak spot for an autocrat ruling Russia. Vieira appeared last night on "Late Show with David Letterman" and described covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi for NBC. (Video after the jump)

What's missing from this list of people Mika Brzezinski blasted on today's Morning Joe for "making a lot of money at the Olympics" while Vladimir Putin's suppression of democracy in the Ukraine unfolds: "the people performing there, the people competing there, the people sponsoring there"?

Did somebody say NBC, Mika's own parent network? Give that guy a gold medal!  To whom does Mika think "the people sponsoring there" are paying their millions to promote their products?  Has Mika not noticed that regular programming on MSNBC itself has been pre-empted by the Putin Olympics? View the video after the jump.

What was the best way for NBC to begin that network's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? Have sports anchor Bob Costas host a brief profile on Vladmir Putin in which the Russian president is hailed as a global statesman superior to U.S. president Barack Obama. '

During a video portion of the profile, Costas said that Putin is an accomplished peacemaker, crediting him with preventing an American airstrike on Syria and coaxing the Iranian government to the nuclear negotiating table.

Everyone knows that President Obama loves to play golf. Since his inauguration in 2008, he has played over 100 rounds of golf, yet he received some unlikely criticism over his love of the game.

During an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked, if the president would “Care to make a friendly bet with President Obama on which country’s going to win more medals, the U.S. Or Russia?” [Click below to see Putin's response.]

Russian President Vladimir Putin is jealous of Barack Obama.

At a news conference in Russia Thursday, Putin said, "How do I feel about Obama after Snowden's revelations? I envy him, because he can get away with it."

 The three networks on Thursday morning allowed a scant 65 seconds to Senator John McCain's "blistering" op-ed published in the communist newspaper Pravda, featuring a call for freedom and tolerance in Russia. Although ABC, CBS and NBC quickly summarized the Senator's international rebuttal to Vladimir Putin's New York Times op-ed, the morning shows offered the briefest of quotes and mostly portrayed the piece as a grudge match with Putin.

CBS This Morning devoted just 19 seconds to the "blistering opinion piece." Rose narrated, "[McCain] accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of corruption and repression." Good Morning America's Josh Elliott allowed 23 seconds and insisted that the Senator "blast[ed] Russian President Vladimir Putin." According to Today's Savannah Guthrie, McCain offered a "scathing" attack on Russian corruption. Mostly absent from the three networks were full quotes highlighting the Senator's main topic, a defense of democracy and freedom.

On Monday's The Last Word show, after former chess champion and Russian political activist Garry Kasparov charged that President Obama had "blown up [the] reputation of his office" by allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to talk him down from his "red line" warning against Syria, MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell tried to argue that Obama had not really lost face since he never specifically promised military action, even though the President warned of "enormous consequences" if chemical weapons were used.

The back and forth started after O'Donnell asked "what advice" the Russian activist had for Secretary of State John Kerry's "day to day negotiations" on the matter, prompting Kasparov to respond:

It was bound to be overshadowed by breaking news of the fatal Washington Navy Yard shooting this morning, but today's Wall Street Journal front-pager, "Inside White House, a Head-Spinning Reversal on Chemical Weapons," would have likely gone unnoticed by the liberal broadcast and cable media regardless.

In a 66-paragraph masterpiece, Journal reporters Adam Entous, Janet Hook, and Carol Lee gave a behind-the-scenes look of how, "Through mixed messages, miscalculations, and an 11th-hour break, the U.S. stumbled into an international crisis and then stumbled out of it." Among other things disclosed, "The same day [Secretary of State John] Kerry made his fateful remark" that Syria could simply give up its weapons to the international community, "the State Department sent Congress a memo detailing: 'Russian Obstruction of Actions on Syria.'" It really is a great exploration of the Keystone Kops nature of the Obama team's bungling of Syrian foreign policy.  Here's a taste (emphasis mine):

There are times when the media's liberal bias is so obvious it's nauseating.

Take TIME magazine for example which used the cover of its September 16 issue to blatantly shill for President Obama.

Bob Schieffer interviewed Senators Bob Corker (R-Tn.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) about recent goings-on in Syria on Sunday's Face the Nation.

For some reason, only Levin was asked to grade the President on how he's handled this foreign policy matter (video follows with transcript and commentary):

The award for this week's best line concerning the American-Russian agreement regarding Syria goes to Washington Post columnist and former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson.

Appearing on CBS's Face the Nation, Gerson marvelously observed, "Assad used chemical weapons and improved his job security."

This is just way too delicious!

A petition has been created at the White House website to force President Obama to give the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded in 2009 to Russian President Vladimir Putin.