As we previously reported, things got off to a rocky start today between the United States and Russia long before President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin officially met.
But you’d never know that if you watched CNN’s fawning coverage of the so-called Biden-Putin “summit.” In fact, “reporting” from anchor Wolf Blitzer and Jim Sciutto especially sounded, ironically, like something that would seriously impress Pravda.
Early on during the segment, Blitzer called the handshake between the two “a significant handshake,” whatever that was supposed to mean. He then briefly turned the reins over to their chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward who tried to inject seriousness back into the report by giving an overview about what was expected to take place during the meeting and the significance of it. But it was Sciutto’s reaction to the body language between Biden and Putin that generated a lot of hilarious Twitter mockery in response.
“You know, these moments are about moments, and I’ll tell you one moment I noticed there in the Biden-Putin interaction,” Sciutto began a bit too excitedly for a supposedly objective journalist.
“The handshake, Biden looked Putin in the eye with a smile, Putin looked away. Again, you, don’t want to read too much or too little,” Sciutto continued while reading too much into it, “but again these are about public posturing, it’s about how you project strength, and that was a notable moment to me as you watched them shake hands.”
The panel of Blitzer, Sciutto, and Ward then all briefly marveled at how Biden was the first to “extend his hand” and Blitzer again used the term “significant handshake,” suggesting it was a “good way to start this meeting.” If one didn’t know any better, you’d think it was the Biden comms team celebrating some great victory all because Joe Biden was the first to reach out to shake Putin’s hand.
CNN’s @jimsciutto gushes over Biden shaking hands w/ Putin: "The handshake, Biden looked in the eye of Putin with a smile and Putin looked away … These [moments] are about public posturing and about how you project strength." pic.twitter.com/hzBrLEuF0Y
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 16, 2021
Sciutto was so pumped up about the meeting that he even posted a couple of body language updates to his Twitter page, like this one:
Biden looked Putin in the eyes, Putin immediately looked away. https://t.co/YCJJtB7PYq
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) June 16, 2021
Sciutto’s “reporting” in particular, as I noted earlier, was mercilessly mocked and deservedly so:
— Jim Earl (@jimearl666) June 16, 2021
For some, Sciutto’s gushing over the handshake was a little too Toobin-like for their comfort:
toobin showed you can do what sciutto is doing here at work and get away with it. https://t.co/6IuqMhvZLE
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) June 16, 2021
— Chicago Bulls Cash Considerations (@bulls_cash) June 16, 2021
— Irisheyes2020🇺🇸 (@jgmirish1960) June 16, 2021
This man is down bad and on his knees in front of Biden. Like goodness how damn pathetic CNN people are. https://t.co/La3SFGt57K
— Joel Clabaugh (@JClabaugh_20) June 16, 2021
Keep in mind, too, Sciutto worked in the Obama-Biden administration, so there is clearly a lot of love and fondness there from a supposedly “straight news” journalist:
Sciutto was an appointee in the Obama Administration, while Joe Biden was vice president, of course.
He was chief of staff to Obama's ambassador to China.
Practically speaking, Biden is one of his former bosses.
But, objective journalist, sure. https://t.co/N52qBnlmIp
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) June 16, 2021
This reaction was perhaps the best of all of them:
American “journalism”. pic.twitter.com/zkfIOfUAXd
— michael epps (@michael_epps) June 16, 2021
Pretty much says it all without having to say a single word.