You are absolutely correct about the entire Russia-Friendly ploy used by the MSM. They continue to flog this horse out of desperation as one tactic after another backfires on them.
There never has been a substantial amount of people who bought into, or even cared, about being Russian-Friendly in the first place.
It’s obvious the liberal mainstream media is flailing aimlessly, hoping something, anything, will stick. Fortunately, their credibility is too far gone to convince the majority of anything really.
They are so out of touch with the populace, they don’t understand people want improved relations with Russia — being labelled Russian-Friendly is not the stigma they are hoping to create.
The vast majority see Russia-Friendly as meaning less threat of war with Russia and not the cavorting with the enemy branding they had intended.
And you’re right about the Reagan era — the reporters are either not remembering it, or choosing not to remember it — most likely the latter.