Day in Brief Transcript 6/12/18

It was hard not to be hopeful, seeing the President of the United States meeting with the leader of North Korea, a sight people my age thought we’d never see.


Hard not be hopeful that a people subjected to decades of the most horrible human rights violations might have a better life.


Hard not to be hopeful that a rogue nuclear regime that many believe is the biggest threat to world peace, might agree to denuclearize and, this time, live up to its word.


But, in the end, all there is hope, because it seems all that was agreed to was to continue to talk.


Given the speed at which this summit was arranged, we probably couldn’t have expected much more.


Kim said the past would be left behind and that the world would see major change.


Trump expressed optimism and said he’d freeze military drills with South Korea, which seems to have surprised the South Koreans and US forces on the Korean Peninsula.


That opened him to criticism that he’d given up something substantial and legitimized a dictator, while not getting much in return.


In other news, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suffered a heart attack but he’s reportedly recovering in good condition.


Trump again scolded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying his criticism of Trump will cost Canada a lot of money. But the White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, said he’d made a mistake to say there was “a special place in hell” for Trudeau.


Inflation hit 2.8%, the highest rate in six years, a federal judge approved AT&T’s $85-billion-dollar merger with Time Warner, and Alec Baldwin said he could beat Trump in the 2020 election.


Now, our alternate universes segment, the great divide between conservative and liberal media. Shameless hypocrisy is today’s theme.


MSNBC was relentlessly negative in its coverage of the summit. These are the same folks who celebrated Obama meeting with Raul Castro, another human-rights violating dictator and sworn enemy of America. Obama got no real concessions from Cuba when he reopened relations, no commitments to improve human rights, while giving the Cuban economy a desperately needed lifeline. But, for MSNBC, that was good, but Trump dealing with North Korea wasn’t. As one columnist put it, suddenly peaceniks were turned into cold warriors, doves into hawks.


And then, there was Fox. Pundits there slammed Obama for dealing with Castro and for even suggesting the possibility of meeting with the North Koreans or Iranians. But now the Fox hawks have suddenly become doves, celebrating Trump’s diplomatic efforts.


Intellectual consistency is as AWOL among journalists on Manhattan’s West Side as it is among politicians on Capitol Hill.


An honorable mention: CNN, at moments, seemed like its old self, reporting and highlighting both the positives and negatives.


Finally, happy birthday to George H.W. Bush. At 94, he has become America’s longest-living president.