▶ CURL: A me­dia swoon if it were Obama, Kim.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOSEPH CURL Joseph Curl cov­ered the White House and pol­i­tics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twit­ter @josephcurl.

Just hours af­ter Pres­i­dent Trump had con­cluded his his­toric sum­mit with North Korean dic­ta­tor Kim Jong-un, the con­sen­sus from the main­stream me­dia was that the whole event was a big noth­ing­burger.

Mr. Trump won no hard con­ces­sions, the MSM said — noth­ing con­crete on de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, on hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions. In fact, said the talk­ing heads and po­lit­i­cal pun­dits, the things Mr. Kim pledged to un­der­take in a mul­ti­point agree­ment signed by both lead­ers have all been agreed to be­fore.

What’s more, said the MSM, Mr. Trump had just le­git­imized Mr. Kim by deign­ing to meet with him, el­e­vat­ing his sta­tus to that of a world leader. He had also den­i­grated the le­gacy of all the men and women in the armed forces who had lost their lives bat­tling the North Korean scourge, said lib­er­als. And there was the fa­mil­iar talk­ing point that Mr. Trump — fresh off be­rat­ing Canada for un­fair trade prac­tices — was mak­ing ene­mies of friends and friends of ene­mies.

But not so very long ago, the me­dia went gaga over an­other pres­i­dent’s dec­la­ra­tion that he’d speak with any rogue leader, any time, any­where on the globe. That’s right, then-Sen. Barack Obama, when run­ning for pres­i­dent in 2007, said he’d have no prob­lem meet­ing with the lead­ers of Iran or Venezuela or Syria or Cuba — or even North Korea.

In a pres­i­den­tial de­bate, Mr. Obama was asked by a ques­tioner via YouTube if he would be will­ing to meet with­out pre­con­di­tions in the first year of his pres­i­dency with any of those lead­ers. “I would,” he said.

“It is a dis­grace that we have not spo­ken to them,” Mr. Obama said then. “The no­tion that some­how not talk­ing to coun­tries is pun­ish­ment to them — which has been the guid­ing diplo­matic prin­ci­ple of this ad­min­is­tra­tion — is ridicu­lous.”

Just months be­fore, then-Sen. Hil­lary Clin­ton had sup­ported the idea. “You don’t refuse to talk to bad peo­ple. I think life is filled with un­com­fort­able sit­u­a­tions where you have to deal with peo­ple you might not like. I’m sort of an ex­pert on that. I have con­sis­tently urged the pres­i­dent to talk to Iran and talk to Syria. I think it’s a sign of strength, not weak­ness,” she said.

But, of course, Mrs. Clin­ton flipped on the sub­ject dur­ing that 2007 de­bate with Mr. Obama, say­ing: “I don’t want to be used for pro­pa­ganda pur­poses.”

To be fair, some Repub­li­cans ob­jected to Mr. Obama’s dec­la­ra­tion that he’d talk with lead­ers of en­emy na­tions. His then-op­po­nent, Sen. John McCain, ripped the Illi­nois se­na­tor for what he called “the dan­ger­ous con­se­quences of a naive ap­proach to pres­i­den­tial sum­mits based en­tirely on emo­tion.”

Still, the me­dia praised Mr. Obama’s for­ward-think­ing at­ti­tude. And when Mr. Obama made a trip to Cuba — the first sit­ting U.S. pres­i­dent to visit the Com­mu­nist ruled is­land since 1928 — the MSM loved it.

But not so for Mr. Trump’s ef­forts. House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, spout­ing the left’s talk­ing points, hated ev­ery­thing about Mr. Trump’s sum­mit with Mr. Kim.

“Nu­clear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion is a pil­lar of Amer­ica’s na­tional se­cu­rity,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a state­ment. “We re­spect any se­ri­ous and real diplo­matic ef­forts to achieve that goal on the Korean penin­sula. Ap­par­ently, the Pres­i­dent handed Kim Jong-un con­ces­sions in ex­change for vague prom­ises that do not ap­proach a clear and com­pre­hen­sive path­way to de­nu­cle­ariza­tion and non-pro­lif­er­a­tion.

“In his haste to reach an agree­ment, Pres­i­dent Trump el­e­vated North Korea to the level of the United States while pre­serv­ing the regime’s sta­tus quo. The mil­lions of fam­i­lies cur­rently liv­ing in fear of nu­clear weapons in the re­gion de­serve strong and smart lead­er­ship built on diplo­macy and en­gage­ment with our re­gional part­ners and al­lies,” she said.

Shortly af­ter the sum­mit, Wendy Sher­man, who had been a se­nior State Depart­ment of­fi­cial in the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, said on MSNBC that Mr. Trump should not have treated Mr. Kim as an equal — again par­rot­ing the talk­ing points all over the MSM on Tues­day.

“I was a lit­tle taken aback by the North Korean flags and the Amer­i­can flags side by side,” she said. “We re­ally aren’t side by side. We aren’t equals to each other, and this con­ferred power to Kim Jong Un that I don’t be­lieve he has yet earned in terms of the re­spect from the United States.”

That’s the view of lib­er­als across Amer­ica right now: Mr. Trump’s a buf­foon who’s giv­ing away Amer­ica.

But if Mr. Obama had done it — as he pledged; even if in the end, he didn’t — they’d have ap­plauded.

Same as it ever was.

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