MediaSnob, Obamarama

Bronstein: To Press, Obama – “Get A Room!”

Are you sick at looking at this? I’m not, but then, I’m not Phil Bronstein.San Francisco Chronicle Editor-at-Large Phil Bronstein can’t take it anymore. He can’t take the stories about the dog, or the speeches, or how adorable the First Family is. He can’t take all the love (or lust) going on with the press and their hunger for all things Obama related. It’s making the poor man so sick he’s writing lengthy columns about it on Huffington Post.

More after the jump.

When Barack Obama decided that questions from the German press about his trip agenda in that country were too pesky, he told the reporters, “So, stop it all of you!” He just wanted them to ask things he wanted to talk about. Well, what politico wouldn’t want that?

OK, dad. We’ll behave.

And according to a new Pew Research Center poll, we are behaving…like fans. On domestic press, it showed that “President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House” with “roughly twice as much” Obama coverage about his “personal or leadership qualities” than was the case for either previous president.

Back in the US, NBC’s Brian Williams’ two-part “Living Large With the Top Dog” feature on Mr. Obama’s life included a plug for Conan O’Brien’s new show and mention of cable talkies where Mr. Obama only cited MSNBC personalities. Accident? I don’t think so. There were a few probing moments in there, but they were overshadowed by the flash of hanging out in the back of the Auto One limo and having burgers. A little navel-gazing among journalism standards hall monitors about whether the thing had been too soft came and went.

I’m a fan of the president and the First Family and even I’m amazed at how long the honeymoon has lasted. Granted, all this gushing is intermixed with a lot of President Barack Hussien Lucifer Antichrist Karl Marx Hitler Obama talk from the right. The name calling doesn’t really help their cause. (It kind of just makes them sound angry and possibly suffering from some form of brain fever.) But even I’ll admit that Brian Williams’ piece was pretty ri-damn-diculous, shooting the thing to look like a borderline “Hills” spin-off.

Of course, a lot of this has to do with money. As in, a lot of people want to read about the Obamas and the press is happily supplying a fix for all of us high on the Obama crack. His ratings are high. Love him or hate him, the president is what a lot of people want to talk about, hence the tons upon tons of coverage in all forms of media. Not to mention the merchandising of the president and his family as hustlenomics majors read the hope-filled writing on the wall and get to pitching the Obama China sets and crappy Obama-MLK T-shirts of our dreams.

So while MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow continues to be sparingly critical with the prez over him being slow to go on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and FOX News’ Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck continue announcing our rapid march towards socialism (tears and screaming included), Bronstein is accusing everyone else in the middle of going with style over substance.

How long with the love affair last? Or do you think Bronstein is full of it? Me, I’m just amazed he still gets so much glowing coverage when there is such a virulent and angry undercurrent that is loud, visible and running rampant over the airwaves and on-line. How long before they break through to the mainstream? Or, considering how MSNBC has quotes from Rush Limbaugh on EVERY DING DONG DAY — is the mob already there? And is it impossible to get real, serious nuanced coverage of the presidency? Are our only choices love/lust or a double dose of hate?

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13 thoughts on “Bronstein: To Press, Obama – “Get A Room!”

  1. Robert M says:

    I’ve a different take on what is too much. After Bush the story of the Obama’s is relevant royalty; Comforting, sensible, progressive without being doctrinaire and publicy loving. You cant help but like it unless you’ve got wonkish policy interests. Where it has gone to far is the children. I don’t even want them heard let alone seen. As young African American women they have way to much to deal w/ let alone adolescence.

  2. Monie says:

    I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and my take is that Phil Bronstein really needs to concentrate on keeping the crappy Chronicle from going under. It is truely the worst big city newspaper I have ever seen.

  3. Ebonie says:

    I love to read about the Obama dates or see what Michelle’s wearing. The dog coverage is a bit much though. But I can separate Obama’s policies/governing from the coverage of what he wore to get a hamburger. The honeymoon has lasted for a while though because Obama has become this hybrid of president/celebrity.

  4. Lisa J says:

    He’s a hater. I get as much of what you aptly call the "President Barack Hussien Lucifer Antichrist Karl Marx Hitler Obama" bile filling up my news coverage as the lovey pics etc. Plus, I know he is a news editor but he could turn that stuff off or even better just watch real news and skip all that cable news network crap and confine himself to outlets that mostly produce substantive news and tell his paper not to run the Obama fluff (which won’t help their faltering sales). Sheesh. Everybody’s a critic. He’d be really doing his job as a journalist if he wrote an article about the substance of Obama’s administration and policies rather than write his own version of superficial Obama coverage by snarkily dismissing it. In a way, he is participating in exactly the same lack of substance he is complaining about.

  5. isobel says:

    @Monie Kudos to that! I agree completely. The Chronicle is absolute trash.I think many average Americans are relishing the fact that we not only have a not-embarrassing president, we have a cool president that Europeans love. Even the French like him. The French! I can even imagine being proud to be an American during overseas trips, a far cry from wanting to pretend I am Canadian.

  6. dukedraven says:

    I guess Bronstein hasn’t been the same since he and Sharon Stone broke up, and she went around telling people she did Michael Jordan in a hotel room one day (That’s bad, but it’s true). He’s just jealous. Hee, hee.

  7. steph T says:

    I think people are reassured by all this stuff — the serious policy stuff and the fluffy fashion, date night stuff. We’re in a major crisis and instead of sending the Bush message of PANIC PANIC PANIC, he’s sending a reassuring message. The press is feeding on the signals the same way, it’s just a different message.And I really think this new message is a lot healthier for everyone.That said … I’m still pissed off at his press people for only saving one local print press seat at his most recent Nevada visit, offering it to me and then giving it away to our competitor at the last minute. Not cool and really pointed out how unfriendly the Administration really is towards the press.

  8. snobfanforeal' says:

    So much of this anxiety stems from a white-majority media body just not having a clue as to how to handle this whole ‘black chief executive’ thing. it’s thrown the whole industry off its game. The Republican’s should be given credit, however, for their consistency. They’re still touting the ‘socialist’ meme as hard and fast as they can. A narrative emerged at this point by W’s first term and was pushed into the drawer after 9/11: spoiled rotten rich kid idiot rules the world. Clinton, by his first August in office, was already having his press corps beat down printed accounts regaridng his wife’s uber-plot to run the country from her perch in the old Vice-President’s quarters. But if there’s one group that’s itching to tear into him, its the gay rights lobby. Andrew Sullivan’s blog is trending cranky(not a lobby member, but cares about the issue enough to be credited as a leading voice). Ditto the Maddow show. It’s as if they don’t see how repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ right this second would sink National Health Care coverage for everyone. Anway, may God contiue to bless and keep our Commander in Cheif.

  9. sandy says:

    I never get sick of looking at people who look like me. Unfortunately the content of our character was not an issue for so long, I like seeing myself. I guess the other side likes seeing themselves too. I have a dream too….

  10. bdsista says:

    I’m sorry, but I have a big Obama/Destiny framed pic in my office and I pinch myself everyday because I still cannot believe he is in the white house and thank God, still alive. I work in a school and its pretty cool to see the kids come in to see the picture every day too. I am awed by all the crap he has been left to fix and North Korea is just damn! what now? May the HOneymoon NEVER end! I like the dog too.

  11. starrie says:

    phil bronstein was married to sharon stone….and he managed to get his toe bitten off by some creature because he was too stupid to get out of the way…

  12. Tamara says:

    @starrie…your quote just killed, buried, and ressurected me all at the same time. LMAO!@snobforreal "So much of this anxiety stems from a white-majority media body just not having a clue as to how to handle this whole ‘black chief executive’ thing. it’s thrown the whole industry off its game." All I have to say is church, synangoge (s/p), mosque, bhuddist temple and b’hai place of worship. Get that said!

  13. sarah says:

    Why is this so surprising…honestly when the last time anyone saw a real piece of news anywhere in the mainstream media.People like Brian Williams and especially these cable news people are just there to read the telepromter. So for Bronstein to act as if the media just suddenly fell asleep once Obama was elected is ridiculous. It’s been this way for awhile.

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