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?