July 23, 2013
Kate and William show off the baby. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
A newsworthy — and gush-worthy — event. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Moments ago, Prince William and Duchess Kate presented their yet-to-be-named baby to the world. The unveiling lasted about two minutes and fifty seconds, including a very short press availability for the three royals. Both parents looked great, as did the baby, though the cameras didn’t appear to catch a very good glimpse of him. What shall we do?

Since hundreds of thousands of people are born each day in this world, media outlets must somehow justify throwing valuable newsroom resources behind a single birth. Gushing over the event is one approach, as MSNBC demonstrated.

After watching this underwhelming display, MSNBC’s Tamron Hall declared, “Even if you’re a cynical person out there and you think this is all hype, to see Catherine’s glow, to see William so proud and even joking. They look like this couple, they got each other’s back and they’re there to share this moment with the world and handle it with such care and tenderness.”

Another MSNBCer on the same topic: “They just look fantastic, don’t they? William with the sleeves rolled up, you know, the shirt a little bit undone. Kate, in that very casual kind of little cotton gown that she’s wearing.”

Then came the coup de grace. The couple emerged from St. Mary’s Hospital with the baby in a car seat. William put the child in the back seat of the vehicle, got in the driver’s seat and drove off. MSNBC’s Chris Jansing watched all of this go down and just about declared herself floored by the experience:

The word you keep hearing is brilliant. What a brilliant move. There was a lot of speculation about who would be in the back, who would be in the front. They said, ‘Oh, maybe Prince Charles would sit up front with the driver. He (William) gets in the driver’s seat and he drives away! In every sense, this is a thoroughly modern couple.

CNN didn’t go quite that far, though correspondent Max Foster did manage this gushiness: “Having followed William for some time now, he was really, really chaffed, pleased, happy and Kate looked really relaxed, completely natural. It was interesting to see how she came out with the baby in her arms and then William then took the baby from her and that would have been a choreographed move, so this is a joint partnership, joint parenting. It’s not just his child, it’s not just her child. This is two very hands-on parents who’ve been through all of this together over the last 48 hours.”

Fox New’s Shannon Bream stuck with the facts and some good insight from commentator Christopher Andersen, who observed that there’s an “affection and enthusiasm for this couple that didn’t exist for Charles and Diana.”

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Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.