Former President Barack Obama broke his months-long silence last week and gave a "clobbering" rebuke of his successor President Donald Trump. Cable news anchors could hardly contain their excitement.
Obama mentioned Trump by name in public for the first time since leaving office last Friday, saying Trump was the "symptom" rather than the cause of growing division and hatred in the country. The speech echoed others the former president gave on behalf of Hillary Clinton on the 2016 campaign trail. Obama denounced Trump's behavior and Republicans for not speaking out, and he told the audience not to boo but to instead vote in the upcoming midterms.
Network hosts on CNN and MSNBC described the speech as a stunning rebuke of the Trump era.
"He did not mince words," CNN host Wolf Blitzer said.
"Obama had been reluctant to come out and be so eviscerating," CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin said.
"Obama scorched President Trump," MSNBC host Ali Velshi said.
"Obama versus Trump," CNN host Chris Cuomo said. "Media is titillated, pundits are panting about who's better."
Journalists were just doing their job in showing how Obama dismantled Trump with one campaign speech, but there will undoubtedly be conservatives who pounce on how the media is reporting Obama's speech.
Critics of the media's response, however, can watch this video of reporters grilling Obama and holding his feet to the fire to see their commitment to hard-hitting, unbiased reporting. Before leaving office, Obama told members of the press it wasn't their job to be sycophants and that they were supposed to ask him tough questions, so how could the press possibly be bias in favor of him?
"Why are we so thirsty for this message?" MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace wondered in reference to Obama's denunciation of Trump.