NBC’s Williams: Obama Shaking Hands With Raul Castro ‘One of the Better Moments’ at Mandela Memorial
Reporting from South Africa on Tuesday’s NBC Today about the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams noted how the “dignitary section has some criminals, some thieves, some kings, some presidents” and that “Several have been life-long sworn enemies.” He then proclaimed that President Obama’s “handshake with [Cuban leader] Raul Castro was one of the better moments.” Williams gushed that oppressive dictators sitting side by side with democratically elected leaders of the free world was somehow part of Mandela’s legacy: “What would Nelson Mandela say to all of them and say to all of this? Most of the speakers have urged the crowd, ‘Go on, behave like him, live like him, be infused with his spirit going forward and maybe we could get some place.’”
Veteran journalist Barbara Walters on Tuesday took to The View to use Nelson Mandela’s funeral as a way to push for normalization of relations with Cuba. Absolutely struck by the fact that Barack Obama shook hands with Raul Castro, Walters lectured, “The significance is that maybe this may change our relations with Cuba after 50 years, because it seems a little ridiculous to me that we recognize China and our relationship but we still do not have a relationship with Cuba.” She enthused that the footage of Obama and Castro was “old enemies…shaking hands.” The host touted, “It’s historic.”
MSNBC Savaged Thatcher When She Died, But Now Matthews Insists It’s ‘Not Nice’ to Attack Dead Leaders
An indignant Chris Matthews on Monday took internet attacks on the late Nelson Mandela, allegedly from conservative commenters, and slammed the right for a lack of respect towards the South African leader: “Don’t they know that it’s not nice to make fun of a person so recently deceased, much less the world’s most honored champion of human freedom?” Yet, how did the journalists at MSNBC and NBC respond to the death of Margaret Thatcher, someone who championed freedom in the struggle against communism? On the day she died, Richard Wolffe, a regular on Matthews’s show and network, seethed, “She had an attitude to her domestic enemies that frankly was the antithesis of freedom.” Another Matthews colleague, Brian Williams offered up an even more vicious attack.
On Monday’s All In on MSNBC, during a discussion of whether the Tea Party has helped conservatism, host Chris Hayes accused the Tea Party of being “reckless” in several ways, including “with people’s lives,” as he contrasted the GOP and Democratic bases, while MSNBC’s Karen Finney asserted that GOPers only agree on “how much they hate Barack Obama.” Hayes began the discussion as he posed: “Karen, what do you think? Has it been good or bad for conservatism, the Tea Party? And not good or bad for the country. I think everyone at this table agrees that they’re bad for the country, really bad for the country, terrible, destructive in all the ways we talk about all the time. But good or bad for the conservative movement?”