NBC's Brian Williams took time Thursday night to show video a statue of
President Barack Obama at age 10, then known as Barry, being unveiled
in Jakarta, near where he attended school at that age. "The statue was
put there to remind children in Indonesia to follow their dreams and
remind them their future is without limits," Williams helpfully
The life-size bronze replica of Obama in a T-shirt and shorts is adorned with what Politico suggested  "appears to be a Nobel medal around his neck" and what the AP described  as "the young Obama smiling at a butterfly that has landed on his upheld left thumb." The AP dispatch also reported: "The statue's pedestal carries an paraphrased quote from former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reading, 'The future belongs to those who believe in the power of their dreams.'"
This wasn't the first time the NBC Nightly News found inspiration in Obama's time in Indonesia. Back during the campaign in March of 2008, the newscast ran a celebratory piece about how excited Obama's childhood friends in Indonesia were about his candidacy in a story which began and ended with a picture of Obama's classmates in front of huge "Good Luck Barry!" lettering.
Williams announced on the Thursday, December 10 NBC Nightly News over video showing kids in a band and views of the statue:
This was the scene today at a school courtyard in Jakarta, Indonesia. Young conductor, student orchestra and the unveiling of a statue of 10-year-old Barack Obama, Barry as he was known back then. This is, after all, where the future 44th President went to school as a little boy. The statue was put there to remind children in Indonesia to follow their dreams and remind them their future is without limits.
The March 17, 2008 CyberAlert item, "Instead of Wright, NBC Touts Childhood Pals: 'Good Luck Barry! '" recounted:
Friday's [March 14] NBC Nightly News allocated a mere 22 seconds to Barack Obama's condemnation of what fill-in anchor Ann Curry vaguely described as "inflammatory remarks that his long time pastor made about Hillary Clinton and the nation," but instead of informing viewers of any of those remarks, such as Reverend Jeremiah Wright's suggestion that the U.S. deserved 9/11, the newscast then devoted three minutes to a celebratory piece about how excited Obama's childhood friends in Indonesia are about his candidacy.
In a story which began and ended with a picture of Obama's classmates in front of huge "Good Luck Barry!" lettering, reporter Ian Williams trumpeted the wonders Obama is doing abroad: "The fact that Obama lived in Jakarta and studied at this school has really captured the popular imagination. It's already working wonders for America's battered image here." A local commentator oozed over how "Obama's candidacy confirms the romantic ideals people like me have held since childhood that America's the land of opportunity."
Williams concluded with how "friends remember Barry playing barefoot in the paddy fields with a real spirit of adventure," and so now "hope there'll be no turning back on his journey to the White House. And Barry might attend their next reunion as President of the United States."...
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center