Were the Media at the Same Summit as Trump?
Mainstream journalists couldn't resist bashing the president after his meeting with Kim Jong-un appeared to be at least a successful start
Numerous mainstream media editors, reporters and talking heads wasted no time on Tuesday melting down after President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un face-to-face at an historic summit in Singapore.
It didn’t matter that Trump became the first U.S. president to meet with North Korea’s leader since the communist nation was formed in 1948.
“Just because something hasn’t happened before, doesn’t mean it’s ‘historic,'” Time contributing editor Jon Meacham complained Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I think when you call something ‘historic,’ it means it has a good chance of having lasting implications,” he continued. “And I think it’s very unclear, at least to my layman’s eye, that this does that.”
Although "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough wasn't enthusiastic about the summit, he admitted, "This is a hell of a lot better than a nuclear war."
Still, Scarborough largely dismissed the summit, saying, "We don't know what's going to happen here. Certainly I know everybody in America and across the world hopes that this ends up being successful, but ... right now, there really is no way of judging this because it is a glorified photo-op that may actually start the framework of something significant."
Trump and Kim signed a statement following their meeting agreeing to establish new communications, support a "stable peace regime" in North Korea, work toward "complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula, and recover remains of Americans killed in North Korea during the Korea War.
Trump also agreed to cease joint military exercises with South Korea. Because the statement didn't include much in the way of specifics, mainstream media members panned it.
"Now that we've been given their statement, it is far less than advertised. No new commitments. No timetable. No definitions. Glad they met but no breakthroughs," NBC News' Andrea Mitchell tweeted Tuesday.
CNN global affairs analyst Max Boot said Monday on "CNN Tonight" that Trump's meeting with Kim wasn't anything special because it was something "any previous president could have done." But none of Trump's predecessors ever met with a North Korean leader.
But that didn't seem to matter to Boot: "Any previous president could have easily had a summit with any previous leader of North Korea, because they've all been very eager to be legitimated by the president of the United States. And Donald Trump is the first one to agree to do that."
CNN's Jake Tapper diminished Trump's work Tuesday, saying that other presidents could have pulled off a summit like this but chose not to do so because "the concern was, you don't want to give North Korea that kind of prestige."
"It's not as if other presidents couldn't have done this," Tapper said of the summit. "It's that they didn't want to."
The Washington Post's Philip Rucker tweeted Monday night, "Kim Jong Un may be considered the world's greatest human rights abuser and a totalitarian collector of nuclear weapons, but as they met for the first time here Tuesday, Trump declared himself honored."
Even conservative syndicated radio host and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro said Tuesday on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" that "the triumphalism that seems to be appearing in so many places this morning, where everybody is excited that President Trump met with Kim, that's not justified by the outcome yet."
"I'm deeply skeptical that Kim Jong-un and President Trump are going to be besties and that this will suddenly change the world," Shapiro added. "But I'm happy to be proved wrong."
Shapiro also wrote on Twitter, "virtually all of the people cheering loudly today for the Trump/Kim meeting would have SAVAGED Obama for the same exact meeting — and vice versa."
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who served briefly in the Trump administration before being fired, said Tuesday on "Fox & Friends," "I just think it's so dishonest the way [the media] are portraying" the summit.
"At the end of the day, the president is breaking new ground, breaking history. He will denuclearize the peninsula and then likely even go on to tackle Iran," Scaramucci said. "I just find it fascinating that people actually can't give him the credit that he's due as a result of his negotiating tactic and style."
Fox News host Laura Ingraham said Monday on "The Ingraham Angle" that "the elites on the Left want this president to fail. To hell with nuclear war. If you have to have nuclear war to get Trump to fail, I think half of them are okay with that. I'm not exaggerating."
Republican National Committee (RNC) spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany was baffled that "this was a historic night … and it's incredible that the mainstream media can always find a way to sink to new negative lows."
Speaking Tuesday on "Fox & Friends," she said, "I thought, you know, if I flipped over to some other networks that there is no way they could possibly put a negative spin on this. But they did.
"And it's wrong. If you're rooting against this deal — and it appears that some in the media were, at least by their coverage — you're not only rooting against America, you're rooting against peace, you're rooting against the free world. This president deserves credit. He made history, and the world is safer for it."