Like it or not, our president is like a reality TV show: all over all the screens all the time.
This morning it was a cabinet meeting for the flu, what? Crisis? Normality? I mean, flu?
This afternoon at about 3 PM President Obama came to the White House media center to say — earth shattering — he spoke to Judge Souter on the telephone.
“The Obama White House Press Corps is In Love”
The Supreme Court is across the street from the White House. Walking to the Supremes may have been news for Obama….
And with all the worries of the world to deal with the U.S. Congress worked on College Football today.
If you thought the Obama-loving media were getting tingles up their legs during the campaign, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
The way they’ve gushed and fawned over the new president since his inauguration brings to mind young teen girls fainting at the sight of the Beatles 45 years ago, albeit without the screaming – at least until now.
Such disgraceful slobbering could be imminent, though, as the unprecedented abdication of journalistic ethics recently on display makes anything seem possible.
Consider that in his first 50 days in office, Obama received more coverage from the three broadcast network evening news programs – ABC, CBS and NBC – than did George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined, for the comparable periods of their presidencies.
As the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University (CMPA) reported Monday, from Jan. 20 through March 10, these shows devoted almost 28 hours to stories dealing with Obama. This was four times greater than the attention Bush received from these same newscasts in his first 50 days, and almost twice what Clinton got.
Although it almost seems impossible, Obama during this period actually received 22 percent more coverage than the combination of his two predecessors.
So much for claims the media aren’t liberally-biased.
Potentially even more embarrassing for these so-called impartial news programs, their daily average of more than 11 minutes devoted to the new president took up about half of each evening’s broadcast when commercials were factored out.
I guess when you really love something you just can’t get enough of it.
But beyond the mere quantity of the reporting is the sycophantic swooning. According to CMPA, 58 percent of all the evaluations of the president and his policies aired on these programs have been favorable. This compares to 33 percent for Bush and 44 percent for Clinton.
So viewers are not only getting four times as many stories about Obama than they did Bush, but the segments evaluating his policies and performance are also almost twice as favorable for the new White House resident than the previous one.
This volume of glowing coverage clearly is not only impacting Obama’s high popularity numbers, but might also explain why polls show people like the new president despite not being keen on his policies.
A recent AP-GfK poll found 64 percent of respondents approving Obama’s job performance. The same study identified only 49 percent supporting increased spending on health care, education, and the development of alternative energy sources.
But only 43 percent said they favor lower federal outlays, and 79 percent were either very or somewhat worried the resulting explosion in debt will have a negative impact on their children and grandchildren.
What this means is that America isn’t nearly as in love with Obama’s policies as they are him, and the media’s ongoing swoon is the culprit.
This should elicit great concern from people on both sides of the aisle, as it seems quite possible a continuation of the current press coverage could lead folks to go on supporting the president despite being against the direction he’s leading the nation.
If some degree of sanity and impartiality is not added to these newscasts, it not only seems likely that Obama can continue to push through any legislation he wants, irrespective of how the public feels about it, but he could also get re-elected in November 2012 with considerably less than 50 percent of the nation agreeing with what he did in his first four years.
Makes you want to twist and shout doesn’t it?
Noel Sheppard is associate editor of the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters.org.
Major Garrett says because Fox didn’t air last Obama news conference, Garrett didn’t get called on…