Her husband may finally be facing scrutiny, but the media still faint for Michelle.
“Pep rally.” “Rock show.” “Church service.” These were the words a Washington Post staff writer used to describe a brief appearance by the first lady at a government agency on Wednesday. It’s part of the ongoing drumbeat of press adulation for all things Obama.
On Feb. 5, Richard Leiby penned a glowing narrative of Michelle Obama’s political stop at the Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters in Washington, D.C. to promote her husband’s economic plan. The Obamas may be all about “change,” but the entrenched bureaucracy sure seems to love them.
The crowd of government workers, which Leiby said had waited in line for hours, “raised their cameras aloft to capture her…the most famous woman in the world.” Leiby didn’t say whether he was troubled that the waiting, the “wild adulation” and the shouts of “We love you!” occurred during taxpayer-funded work hours.
“Dressed in a satiny purple blouse, gray jacket and skirt, Mrs. Obama only talked for about eight minutes but spent as much time wading into the crowd as the outro music blared: ‘Ain't No Stopping Us Now.’”
Leiby and HUD’s apparently underutilized workforce aren’t the only ones who’ve been fawning over the new first lady. News analyst Scott Whitlock noted how NBC’s Ann Curry gushed about how the nation could become something better because of the Obamas. The segment also featured Essence Magazine’s editor-in-chief calling her the “people’s first lady…who is very much connected to the everyday struggle of American families.”
That must have sounded good to Harriette Cole of Ebony Magazine, because she told Curry, “They are the President and first lady of the people. They said that when they were running for election. You know, there aren't the PACs. It's the 50-plus million people…”
Not according to the major networks!
Recent puff pieces from the major networks have proved that the Obamas are far from connected to the “everyday struggle” of average Americans. Some apparent truths about their lifestyle doesn’t seem to jbe with what the star-struck anchors have touted, such as the hypocrisy of the president calling on Americans to keep their houses no warmer than 72 degrees, while keeping his own Oval Office well above his own arbitrary suggestion. Or that they brought their own personal chef from Chicago to the White House (to supersede the chef already employed there).
Another media fable about the Obamas deals with their “thrifty” style. The first lady has been lauded as a “recessionista” but as the Culture and Media Institute pointed out, $400 dresses and other outfits aren’t exactly what average Americans would call a “bargain.”
But Michelle did get the bargain of a lifetime: being married to the man whose inauguration was extolled as a spiritual event by the major network anchors – one that was “sacred” and invited a “pilgrimage.”
Not bad for a woman who’s merely a “superstar!”