On Tuesday, successive MSNBC hosts used the failing health of former South African president Nelson Mandela to promote President Obama's upcoming trip to Africa. Daily Rundown host Chuck Todd lead the way when he announced: "We have some developing news that we just have to share. Nelson Mandela's daughter, Zindzi Mandela, tells NBC that she was with Nelson Mandela, that she told him of President Obama's upcoming visit to South Africa. And in Zindzi's words, she told him, quote, 'Obama is coming, and he opened his eyes and gave me a smile.'" [Listen to the audio]
After that initial report by Todd in the 9 a.m. ET hour, anchor Thomas
Roberts touted the same news during the 11 a.m. ET hour on MSNBC Live:
"Mandela's condition remains critical, his daughter telling NBC News
that when she told him of President Obama's upcoming visit to South
Africa that he opened his eyes and he smiled."
On her 1 p.m. ET hour show, host Andrea Mitchell rounded out the repetition of the Obama fawning as she proclaimed: "Mandela's daughter Zindzi spoke to NBC News this morning after visiting her father and she said he opened his eyes and smiled when she told him about President Obama's upcoming visit to South Africa."
After Obama's lackluster tour through Europe, the media seem eager to seize on any positive news about the President's next foreign trip.