News? Obama Buys Groceries, Loves Hot Sauce, Plays With Babies!

One obvious advantage Barack Obama will wield over John McCain in the general election is the Celebrity Media, from Oprah and Ellen and Tyra on television to the supermarket weeklies like People and UsWeekly, a celebrity magazine published by Wenner Media (as in ultraliberal Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone fame.) The March 10 issue has an exclusive (softball) interview with Obama, and a photo spread with the headline "HE REALLY IS JUST LIKE US!" The picture captions profess amazement that Obama is a human: I Pick Up Groceries!I Play With Babies! I Love Hot Sauce!I Pose by the [Christmas] Tree!I Ride With My Kids! [on amusement park rides]As the national media profess outrage at the injustice of "Internet whispers" against Obama, consider the balancing force of the celebrity media treating Obama as amazing because he buys fruit at the supermarket.Next to this gooey photo spread is "Wife Michelle’s Inside Scoop," where she talked about their home life, and then concluded: "We need to move beyond race and gender – not just supporting one person because they look like you. Instead, we need to focus on what unites us – our shared values, interests, and goals." If you share liberal goals, that is.The previous two-page spread carries the interview with the candidate, conduced by the magazine's "news director" Lara Cohen. UsWeekly touted their boxers-or-briefs question.

US: So, boxers or briefs? Bill Clinton said he wore boxers in a 1992 interview with MTV.OBAMA: I don't answer those humiliating questions. But whichever one it is, I look good in 'em!

The other toughies:So, how familiar are you with UsWeekly? (The wife reads it – which, ahem, we might point out, is mostly reading captions to the hundreds of photos.)What’s your preferred reading material then? (He says Harry Potter, which his daughter "Malia and I recently finished reading the Harry Potters series out loud to each other." That’s a lot of pages to pore over.)Do Malia or Sasha ever ask about Britney Spears? (They say "yuck." They prefer Hannah Montana and Beyonce.)Are you a cool dad? ("I think I’m pretty cool.")Your supporters include Oprah Winfrey? Ever been starstruck? ("I don’t really get starstruck.")Does Michelle have a celebrity crush? (Stevie Wonder.)Name the songs for your campaign soundtrack. (He notes the "Yes We Can" song made by supporters, "Think" by Aretha Franklin, and "City of Blinding Lights" by U2.)What do you do in your free time? (Look at the sports pages to see how the White Sox or the Bulls are doing.)Your favorite foods? (A good chili, and cobbler.)In a text box, they also asked what shows Obama watched on TV, and he said "I’m a big fan of The Wire."All in all, it makes a Katie Couric interview look like Sunrise Semester.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis