The same networks that huffed and whined about George W. Bush's secret trip to Iraq over Thanksgiving in 2003, calling it an "embarrassing" "presidential shell game," had no such harsh language for Barack Obama's clandestine visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Jake Tapper on Wednesday deemed the visit simply a "surprise." On CBS This Morning,
Scott Pelley proclaimed it "remarkable," insisting, "These things are
always kept secret, in the Bush administration, in the Obama
administration, until the President arrives safely." Yet, on the
November 30, 2003 CBS Evening News, Mark Knoller bitterly complained, "It
was professionally embarrassing to be clueless...And from now on when I
report that the president is at his ranch, neither you nor I will be
sure of it."
How did Knoller react on Tuesday? He registered no complaints, mildly tweeting, "Pres. Obama left Washington last night under cover of darkness from Joint Base Andrews a little after midnight."
On the November 30, 2003 Meet the Press, Mike Allen (then of
the Washington Post), griped about Bush's surprise visit to Iraq: "The
reporters who joined us at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, their
phones were confiscated. So we really did have a bag pulled over us."