Michelle Obama’s ‘Mean America’ Statement Gets a Nearly Free Media Pass

On Wednesday, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard noted the following comments by Michelle Obama in her recent New Yorker Magazine profile by Lauren Collins:

Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we're a divided country, we're a country that is "just downright mean," we are "guided by fear," we're a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. "We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day," she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. "Folks are just jammed up, and it's gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I'm young. Forty-four!"

Sheppard said that "Given how (the) media made excuses for her comments in Wisconsin (She said, "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." -- Ed.), it will be quite interesting to see just how much of (the) interview ..... will be reported in the next 24 hours."

Well, Noel, I looked at the next 72 hours, and the answer is, with one enjoyable exception, "precious little":

(The results below are from a Google News search on "Michelle Obama" "New Yorker" "mean" [typed exactly as indicated] for the date range March 5-8; all relevant results are in the graphic)

MichelleObamaMeanNYorkerSearch0308

The one delicious morsel in the above list is Brit Hume's "Political Grapevine" piece, because it makes the linkage the rest of Old Media should have made, and didn't:

New Information

A profile of Michelle Obama in the upcoming issue of The New Yorker magazine may help explain why she said last month that — "for the first time in my adult lifetime I am really proud of my country."

The article quotes from a speech Mrs. Obama made to a crowd in a South Carolina church in January. .....

The remaining Google News results consist of Noel's NewsBusters post; a brief WorldNetDaily item; briefer blog posts at the Boston Herald and the San Diego Union Tribune; a Frank James post at the Chicago Tribune's "The Swamp" blog that was also carried at the Baltimore Sun; and a great historical context piece at AOL's Political Machine by Justin Paulette.

What did the "papers of record" do with Mrs. Obama's comments? The same search done at the respective web sites, with no date range specified, came up with nothing relevant:

If the "papers of record" did nothing with her comments, you can be reasonably assured that the Old Media TV networks also ignored them.

The Associated Press's Calvin Woodward did note the New Yorker interview, but went nowhere near the controversy. Instead, he referred to a very odd thing Mrs. Obama said in reference to Bill Clinton ("Michelle Obama recently said this of Bill Clinton in The New Yorker magazine: 'I want to rip his eyes out!' She added: 'Kidding.'"), and speculated on whether Clinton-Obama could be a "Democrat Dream Team."

So it would appear that Mrs. Obama's "mean" New Yorker musings did not make the print edition of any major newspaper.

Geez, at least Old Media did something with Hillary Clinton's infamous "baking cookies" tantrum in 1992. Mrs. Obama's virtual free pass for much more offensive verbiage is a useful reminder of how much worse Old Media bias has become in the intervening 16 years.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.