Kantor’s book, “The Obamas,” certainly does not sound like it will afflict the comfortable couple in the White House: “Filled with riveting detail and insight into their partnership, emotions and personalities, and written with a keen eye for the ironies of public life, THE OBAMAS is an intimate portrait that will surprise even readers who thought they knew the President and First Lady.” That promotional tone matches Kantor’s previous Times coverage of the First Couple.
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell filed a report in which she gushed over First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign skills, dubbing her as President Obama's "not so secret political weapon."
Mitchell recounted the First Lady's campaign appearance from earlier in the day:
In an interview with First Lady Michelle Obama that aired on Wednesday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker gushed over recent shopping trip to Target and wondered: "...do you sometimes miss the ability to do something like that on a regular basis?...Do you go to Costco? Do you buy a lot of toilet tissue at once?" [Audio available here]
Obama said of her shopping trips: "I do that more frequently than people realize....we try to sneak out as much as possible and it – and it helps to keep our kids' lives normal." To the challenging toilet paper question she replied: "You know, we pretty much have our supply stocked." Roker observed: "One of the perks." [View video after the jump]
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi is finding a lot of unusual circumstances -- and unusual no-comments -- around Michelle Obama's razzle-dazzle distraction outing to Target after her latest controversy over wearing $42,000 diamond bracelets. He found "there might have been something to the notion of White House orchestration." Farhi's story did not note how the Post's own gossip columnists were eagerly orchestrated to coo over the photo (including on NBC).
Is the AP granting the First Lady a publicity favor to curb the Michelle Antoinette echoes that will give them increased access later in return? If the official White House photographer had taken these shots, Farhi noted, the rest of the press would have seen them as promotional. Somehow they weren't if AP put their prestige on the credit line instead. Farhi lined up all the improbabilities:
Friday's NBC "Today" devoted an entire segment to photos of First Lady Michelle Obama stopping by a Target store in Alexandria, Virginia, as Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell – on location at the shopping center – gushed: "Check this out. Behind those dark glasses, tucked under that Nike cap, one of the world's most famous women. Yes, that is the First Lady of the United States at Target." [Audio available here]
A sound bite was featured of The Washington Post's Amy Argetsinger touting the "wow factor" of the First Lady going to the department store. Later, O'Donnell declared: "Doing ordinary things in tough economic times can be good for a public image." A sound bite followed from left-wing Huffington Post senior politics editor Howard Fineman: "It's great PR for them, because they can say, 'Look, on this trip and others, we know what's going on outside the gates of the White House.'"
ABC News did not get around to the story that Michelle Obama wore a $42,000 set of bracelets to a Democratic fundraiser. But they certainly helped the Obama campaign by touting her appearance on Sunday night's season debut of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The Obama campaign used the appearance to promote the First Lady's work on behalf of military families (and let's not recall how her liberal husband won the Democratic nomination by promising to clear American soldiers out of Iraq by like, yesterday.) This episode dealt with a woman helping homeless female vets.
On Thursday's Good Morning America, news anchor Josh Elliott prodded Extreme Makeover host Ty Pennington to tell the folks at home just what a "cool lady" the First Lady was, and promote the "very special episode" ABC made. Pennington insisted she wore low-top Converse sneakers [video follows page break]:
Is there anything David Letterman hates more than conservative women?
On Wednesday's "Late Show," the host went after Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann saying, "She is now publishing her memoirs, and I thought, well, wait a minute, why can't we pray that away?" (video follows with transcript and commentary)
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Obama-loving media have largely been gushing and fawning over the current White House resident taking a vacation on Martha's Vineyard as the economy appears to be heading into a double-dip recession.
Giving an interesting insight into the President's decision to not call Congress back from its summer break to tackle the problems facing the nation was New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who wrote Sunday:
There's no escaping the Obamas. As I was watching "Phineas and Ferb" with three of the fittest boys under 10 in America, there was Michelle Obama promoting fitness and physical movement. Putting aside her policy prescriptions, it's certainly not a bad message. And Pat Castle would be more than happy to lead the training.
The first lady might not be that into the direction he'd lead, however.
Tina Brown got in hot water this week for an unflattering Newsweek cover photo of Tea Party Republican Michele Bachmann but those who've followed the current Daily Beast and Newsweek editor's career, ever since she brought her version of tabloid journalism over from England to Vanity Fair in 1984, can tell you this is just par for the course.
In fact that wasn't the first time the former editor of The New Yorker displayed her disgust for women of the right. After a run of victories by female candidates in the 2010 GOP primaries, Brown on the June 10 edition of ABC's Good Morning America, called the wins: "a blow to feminism." However when it comes to liberal women like Michelle Obama, Brown sings a decidedly different tune. Videos after the jump.
"Better Homes and Gardens" hasn't had a public figure on its cover in 48 years.
With President Obama's approval rating plummeting along with the nation's employment picture, they must have figured now was the time to break with tradition and do an ultimate exposure puff piece on his wife:
As the First Lady and her daughters toured Africa last week, Americans were treated to puff piece after piece from their adoring fans in the press.
One such aired on ABC's "This Week" Sunday with David Muir actually saying, "Will some of that deeply felt criticism in Africa melt under the glow cast by Mrs. Obama and her girls?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When ABC and NBC interview First Ladies, both the tone and substance of the discussion tend to hinge on whether the husband is an Obama or a Bush.
On Wednesday's ABC "World News" and NBC "Nightly News," network correspondents sat down with Michelle Obama in South Africa for exclusive interviews in which they lobbed softball questions and avoided her husband's policies. But in interviews with Laura Bush in 2007 and 2010, ABC questioned the then-First Lady's Mideast trip and NBC re-litigated President Bush's response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Isn’t it inspiring? Once again, the Obama family is bringing peace and raising esteem for America in a foreign land by their very presence.
Back on March 21, New York Times reporters Alexei Barrionuevo and Jackie Calmes with Obama gushed “Brazilians who gathered at a plaza trying to catch a glimpse of him said that he had inspired millions in this country because of his African heritage.” Paris correspondent Scott Sayare on September 23, 2010 praised Obama’s magical abilities: “But anti-American sentiment, once pervasive in these neighborhoods, seems to have been all but erased since the election of Mr. Obama, who has proved to be a powerful symbol of hope here and a powerful diplomatic tool.”
ABC and NBC have delivered fawning coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama's visit this week to South Africa and Botswana, oozing over the "celebrity" and "excitement" of the "patented Michelle power" on display. To its credit, CBS has largely taken a pass on the idolatry.
The mainstream media are demonstrating that their fawning coverage isn't limited to President Barack Hussein Obama. The establishment press loves Michelle LaVaughn every bit as much. Today's Washington Post Politics Web site carries the story "Michelle Obama wows Britain with high style, rubs shoulders with new royal Kate Middleton." The article substantiates its claim that Mrs. Obama dazzled the English with support from an impartial, disinterested observer. I know she's impartial because she authored a book titled "“Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.”
On NPR's Web site, the headline is "Michelle Obama Wows Britain With Her Style." The accompanying Associated Press article begins:
There weren't any hugs, like last time, but U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama shared a warm handshake with the British queen and gained more fans during her state visit to the U.K.
How does the AP know that Mrs. Obama gained fans? Did they take a survey pre- and post-warm handshake?
As NewsBusters has been reporting for months, Obama-loving media are busily depicting every criticism of the Administration as being racially motivated.
On Saturday, Don Lemon brought on a number of guests on "CNN Newsroom" to discuss how the recent controversy surrounding rapper Common's appearance at the White House is all because he's black (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This White House faced strikingly little press criticism during the 2008 presidential campaign and through most of its first two years in office. So seldom is this White House meaningfully criticized in fact, that even the most mild jab apparently inspires backlash against the press.
Just last week it was revealed that a San Francisco Chronicle reporter was booted from the White House press pool for the crime of recording an anti-Obama protest with her smartphone. Then today, the Pleasanton Weekly, a small newspaper in Pleasanton, California, revealed that the White House had asked that the paper remove a passage it felt reflected poorly on First Lady Michelle Obama.
And, amazingly, the paper obliged. It removed the passage, saying it didn't want to make a "fuss." The White House is grateful for the self-censorship, I'm sure.
Delay and indecision are beginning to define the Obama administration. One matter the Obama Justice Department cannot decide is whether to file an appeal to the Supreme Court in the "fleeting profanity" case called Fox vs. FCC. They've filed two extensions to kick the can down the road. Their latest deadline is April 21. Without an appeal, the Second Circuit's evisceration of any limitation on broadcast cursing will stand.
That’s right. All bets will be off. If you think the Idiot Box is foul now, wait until Hollywood is allowed to be as gross as it wants.
Some commentators will obviously apply the expected gravity argument. We're in three wars, have a $1.5 trillion deficit, and really, it's crucial to prevent Paris Hilton from swearing at a televised awards show? But Obama's Justice Department is making small decisions all the time.
The White House announced Monday that this year’s Easter Egg Roll will be “more environmentally friendly,” with eggs made ofwood certified by an environmental activist organization and packaging that will “minimize waste and environmental impact.”
The press release issued by the White House states that the eggs will be produced in the United States from hardwood “certified” by the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization with a presence in 50 countries and a mission “to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.”
One has to wonder if the Rev. Al Sharpton would have invited journalist, publisher, radio host and academic Karen Hunter on his radio show Feb. 24 had he known she would chide first lady Michelle Obama in remarks not far removed from criticism of Mrs. Obama by Rush Limbaugh.
First, here's what Limbaugh said on his radio show three days earlier (audio here) --
NBC's Matt Lauer seemed shocked that Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, during his Super Bowl interview, actually asked Barack Obama about his opponents hating him, as the Today co-anchor, on Wednesday, in an exclusive interview with the First Lady questioned: "Do you think people hate your husband, even on the far right?" Michelle Obama initially deflected the question as she simply responded: "I'm sure that there are some people who don't like my husband" because "You're not gonna please everybody all the time." Lauer, however continued to press the issue as he asked: "There is obviously extreme criticism" and went on to wonder if it had changed the President as he questioned is he "the same guy today as he was two years ago?"
In an interview that touched on a wide range of topics from Egypt to the President's smoking habits and to the First Lady's anti-obesity campaign, Lauer did ask a tough question on the economy, even reading from a viewer's e-mail who asked Mrs. Obama for her advice for job seekers, as he pressed: "If there is someone out there...who is unemployed...do you expect that person to support your husband in 2012?"
The Washington Post can pretty good at forgetting scandals, especially when it comes to Michelle Obama. The front of Wednesday's Style section has a story on Michelle Obama's "fluid staff" turnover: three chiefs of staff, two communications directors, and (soon to be) three social secretaries. But the headline isn't about how the FLOTUS can't be satisfied and keeps firing aides. It's headlined "Legacy in the making: Despite the changing look of her East Wing circle, Michelle Obama keeps her eye on the progress to come." If that doesn't sound penned by the White House, wait -- it gets better.
Reporter Nia-Malika Henderson becomes Nia-Malika Amnesia in this amazing passage of willful memory loss on Michelle: "She has told her staff then that there was little room for mistakes. Two years later, observers are hard-pressed to find any major flubs, and the first lady has staffed up for Michelle Obama 2.0."
Did the obsequious Post forget the Salahis' major security breach at a White House state dinner? That was only a major Post (and TV network) obsession. It caused the departure of social secretary Desiree Rogers. Some lefties wanted "public executions."
Time magazine knows it can't be all serious, so in addition to its cover story on Egypt this week, they have a gushy piece on Michelle Obama's fashions, written by Kate Betts, author of the new book Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style. Michelle's so chic it's historic:
Given her widespread reputation as one of the most stylish women ever to inhabit the White House, you might think Michelle Obama automatically belongs in the Madison-Kennedy lineage. But her background argues differently. No one can claim that Michelle Obama doesn't know what it's like to work or that she entered marriage because she didn't get an education and lacked economic power of her own. It is plain that she has learned as much if not more from the example of Hillary Clinton as from the example of Jackie Kennedy.
What makes Obama exceptional is that she seems so at home in both camps. So at home that the whole debate about style and substance suddenly seems passé, an anachronism of the gender wars, a false dichotomy enforced by narrow-minded men and women at war with themselves. That Michelle Obama does not see style and substance as an either-or choice is a powerful statement that the underlying assumptions about women's roles and images have changed. Embodying the confluence of substance and style, she has helped reconcile the long-standing antagonism between them. She has, in some sense, made them one and the same.
Good Morning America's Robin Roberts conducted yet another fawning interview with Michelle Obama on Friday, offering 11 minutes and two segments to such important topics as whether the First Lady will attend Prince William's wedding.
Not exactly grilling Mrs. Obama, the co-anchor mused, "We understand that Prince William and Kate, they sent out the save the date kind of notifications. Have you received yours?...Would you like to attend the wedding?"
In comparison, when Roberts interviewed Laura Bush on October 22, 2007, she quoted Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "Desmond Tutu went even farther, saying the generosity of Americans, that's what we should export instead of our bombs."
Last Wednesday I wrote about a left-wing anti-Wal-Mart group in Washington, D.C. that published a flyer depicting a crosshairs on the Wal-Mart smiley face icon and called for a "march on the developer's house" in Northwest D.C. after dark on Thursday the 20th.
[That flyer has since been scrubbed from the WalMartFreeDC.org website, but you can see a screen capture of it below the page break]
Only about 25 people showed up at the protest, so it's not precisely front-page news, but a search of Nexis found not even a blurb about the event or the decidedly uncivil and race-baiting rhetoric the group's website espouses in a rap song that warns that Wal-Mart has a "plantation mentality" that "results in black and brown casualties."