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Audacity Of Our Media’s Sycophancy, Pt 2

From an utterly shameless Associated Press:

In this Jan. 20, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk the inaugural parade route in Washington.

100 days of transformation for a new first lady

By Darlene Superville, Associated Press Writer – Mon Apr 27

WASHINGTON – The 21 women nervously mingling at the White House were among the best in their fields.

They had achieved Olympic gold, Grammy awards and four stars in the Army. One had orbited the earth aboard space shuttle Endeavour. Some had reached the highest outposts of corporate America, or had earned kudos on stage or on the big screen.

They were together for one reason: Michelle Obama.

As a candidate’s wife, as it became increasingly clear Barack Obama might win the presidency, she had dreamed about a day like this, when she could bring together such a talented group and send them off to give pep talks to kids in the public schools.

As first lady, she realized she could make it happen.

"I couldn’t have imagined this a year ago," Mrs. Obama said. She was speaking one morning last month to the other high achievers she had invited to the blue-and-yellow Diplomatic Reception Room in the basement of the White House.

Something else seemed unimaginable a year ago, too.

Who would ever have thought that Michelle Obama would be transformed from a potential campaign liability into America’s newest sweetheart and No. 1 cover girl, every bit as popular as her husband.


Michelle Obama’s first 100 days in the White House really began more than 365 days ago in Wisconsin.

Rallying an audience in Milwaukee, she said: "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country." She explained that she was proud of the people who’d gotten involved in politics, but that’s not what her critics heard.

They said the comment proved she hated America. They portrayed her as the stereotypical angry black woman. Fox News Channel talked of the "terrorist fist jab" she and her husband shared the night he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination. The New Yorker, making fun of the people making fun of her, sketched Mrs. Obama on its cover in an afro and militant garb.

It was a dark time in the many months she had spent campaigning. Yet it was a teachable moment, too.

Mrs. Obama learned from her mistake.

And in the months since, she has gone from lightning rod to rock star, from the cover of The New Yorker to the cover of Vogue, from just plain fashionable to worldwide fashion icon.

She is popular as the president, maybe more. Depending on the poll, she has approval ratings in the 60s and 70s. Practically the only issue being debated these days, silly as it seems, is whether she goes sleeveless too much and for the wrong occasions.

It’s not unusual for a first lady to be more popular than the president, but that usually happens further along. That it has happened so quickly for Mrs. Obama says a lot about how perceptions of her have changed.

"If you had told me a year ago that she would attain this kind of popularity I would have said, ‘No way,’" said Myra Gutin, a professor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., who studies first ladies. "She’s really reversed things in a way that no one would ever have expected."


Maybe it’s the three F’s: family, food and fashion. And a queen.

Americans mostly see their first ladies as wives and mothers, so how could anyone object whenever Mrs. Obama said she wanted to be "mom in chief" to her 10- and 7-year-old daughters, Malia and Sasha?

She worried openly about moving them to the White House. Getting them settled was her top priority.

The public now sees she meant what she said.

The girls got an elaborate swing set, right outside dad’s Oval Office window. A new garden on the South Lawn will supply them with fresh fruit and vegetables. The promised puppy, a Portuguese water dog named Bo, recently arrived. Mrs. Obama returned early from her husband’s first European trip to be home when the girls started a new school week.

In the eyes of many people, the image of an angry woman was transformed into one of a happy, doting mother.

Once in the White House, Mrs. Obama quickly was out the door and running on a bunch of issues, all of them very traditional, first ladylike and unlikely to upset the public.

She dashed around from one government agency to another, thanking often-criticized civil service employees for their work and plugging the president’s $787 billion economic stimulus package.

She got beyond official Washington, too — touring a neighborhood social services center, reading to little kids, serving mushroom risotto at a soup kitchen. She gave pep talks to high school students and dirtied her hands in the garden.

In Europe, she caused a media frenzy, not as much for where she went or with whom she met or for what she said, but for the outfits she wore to meet the British prime minister, the queen of England and the French president and his wife, a former fashion model.

Some of the clothes she wears sell out immediately after aides say where she got them. Numerous Web sites dissect and analyze her style; at least one is posting photos of every outfit she wears in public.

In London, she alone drew a rare, and much talked about, public display of affection from Queen Elizabeth II.

At a reception for world leaders attending the G-20 economic summit, Her Majesty draped an arm across the first lady’s back. Mrs. Obama returned the gesture, sparking endless discussion about whether it was wrong of her to touch the queen.

But the embrace also was a symbol of just how far Michelle Obama’s transformation had taken her. By getting a touch from the queen, she pulled off something few others have.


Mrs. Obama organized her own kind of G-20 summit at the White House last month, with an all-female cast ranging from singer Alicia Keys to actress Fran Drescher to astronaut Mae Jemison.

The assignment was to go out and inspire young people. Girls, especially.

Getting them to see their potential wasn’t something Mrs. Obama talked about on the campaign trail. The pep talks came after she realized the role model and source of inspiration she had become for so many.

"Nothing in my life’s path would have predicted that I’d be standing here as the first African-American first lady of the United States of America," she told an audience of schoolgirls in London. "If you want to know the reason why I’m standing here, it’s because of education."

It’s a simple pitch, and it’s the same whether she is talking to students in D.C. or England.

She was in their shoes once, but she liked going to school, she liked being smart, she liked getting A’s. She worked hard to get ahead and to prove the people who doubted her wrong. She tells students they can do the same.

Laura Bush says she wished she’d realized earlier the power she had as first lady.

Michelle Obama’s journey has already gotten her to that point, and she sees what she can accomplish.

Mind you, this is presented as a news item by the Associated Press.

It’s not even good propaganda:

As a candidate’s wife, as it became increasingly clear Barack Obama might win the presidency, she had dreamed about a day like this, when she could bring together such a talented group and send them off to give pep talks to kids in the public schools.

As first lady, she realized she could make it happen.

"I couldn’t have imagined this a year ago," Mrs. Obama said.

Apparently there is a fine distinction between dreaming about something and imagining it. But who expects or even wants logic in a propaganda piece?

Anyway, didn’t it make you feel good about our new First Lady?

Don’t you also hope she goes on to accomplish great things? The kind of great things that only an unelected wife a First Lady can achieve?

And aren’t you reminded of all the similar puff pieces written for Mrs. Bush, that appeared in all of our newspapers and magazines day after day?

Though, to be fair, Mrs. Bush has not been left out of this insightful report:

Laura Bush says she wished she’d realized earlier the power she had as first lady.

You see, she too wishes she had been more like the human dynamo Mrs. Obama.

But don’t we all?

(You can read part one of The Audacity Of Our Media’s Sycophancy here. But in truth these are merely the latest installments in a relentless series.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

27 Responses to “Audacity Of Our Media’s Sycophancy, Pt 2”

  1. curvyred says:

    I think she is an attractive woman – but I do not get the lovefest. I do find it rather funny that she appears to have been given a “personality makeover” in addition to a wardrobe upgrade.

    I also think she really needs a good stylist who knows how to clothe her in styles that flatter her figure. On a scale from one to ten – her stylist deserves a 3 at best. She needs a new aesthetecian that will fix those oddly arched eyebrows, they make her look like she is perpetually angry.

    • GL0120 says:

      There’s a very logical reason why she looks like she’s perpetually angry – she is!
      She and her husband, the Chosen Couple, feel that everything that has come before them is wrong.
      This is what they learned from Jeremiah Wright, and Bill Ayres, and this is what they have imparted to their followers.

  2. texaspsue says:

    This is the reason why the MSM is now known as the Old Media. :-)

  3. Steve says:

    Meanwhile, we have to go half way around the world to hear a slightly different angle, via the Sydney Morning Herald:

    Image control big for Michelle Obama

    Rachel Swarns
    April 26, 2009

    VOGUE magazine, the fashion world’s chronicler of first ladies, bedecked Hillary Rodham Clinton in black velvet and Laura Bush in blue silk. But not Michelle Obama. She insisted on choosing her own dress (a sleeveless, magenta silk number) and using her own hair and make-up stylists for the glossy photograph splashed across American Vogue’s March cover.

    This was nothing new for Mrs Obama, who has pointedly controlled her look on the covers of People, Essence, More and O, Oprah Winfrey’s magazine. Editors at Essence, who suggested colours, styles and accessories, said her staff did not acknowledge their overtures.

    Editors at More said they were dumbfounded when, after painstaking negotiations, Mrs Obama showed up at the photo shoot with a different dress from the one she had promised to wear. (She ultimately agreed to go back to her first choice, a pink Maria Pinto sheath.)

    “We were like, ‘Excuse me, we tell you what to wear,’ ” said Lesley Jane Seymour, the editor-in-chief of More, who said Mrs Obama refused to wear anything other than her own clothes for their October cover. “She wanted none of that. She was creating the cover. She was creating the image. There’s definitely a will of steel there.”

    The new First Lady is methodically shaping her public image, and in ways that extend far beyond fashion…


    • JohnMG says:

      …..“We were like, ‘Excuse me, we tell you what to wear,’ ” said Lesley Jane Seymour, the editor-in-chief of More, who said Mrs Obama refused to wear anything other than her own clothes for their October cover. “She wanted none of that. She was creating the cover. She was creating the image. There’s definitely a will of steel there……”

      They’re dumbfounded? Think about this and what it says about free enterprise. No one forced them to put her on the magazine. They chose to be a door mat for this spoiled brat and her “will of steel” tantrum. Had those in charge an ounce of courage and a sense of pride they’d have cancelled the whole project and let the world know the reason why. People like that are no different than the CEO’s who go before congress and meekly accept their public floggings without a word of complaint.

      These people aren’t dumbfounded, they’re just dumb! Period!!

    • Helena says:

      I have to say, IMO she’s right to control her own image. It’s one thing for a magazine to dictate costume for a model, quite another for a person who’s not. The magazine has the right to make suggestions to such a person, but the person posing is a fool not to make the final choice.

      On the other hand, look at the picture of them in the inaugural parade at the top of the post. What did she choose for herself? Cloth of Gold. She has a very clear picture of how she wants to be perceived. When she slung her arm over Queen Elizabeth, she was telling the world she’s a queen, too. Unfortunately – this country is supposed to be a democracy.

    • JohnMG says:

      My point was that the magazine didn’t have to cave in to her whims unconditionally. The problem I see all too often is a willingness to kiss someone’s ass rather than to take a stand on principle.

      She can pick anything she wishes to wear, but a fashion magazine doesn’t have to pretend it’s the latest rage, or even in good taste, and should be willing to say as much. (Remember her “black widow” dress? She looked like a moron in that rig.) Instead, they would rather pretend MO is some sort of trend-setter.

      As for the queen comment, perhaps you’re right. Still, even though I think the Queen-mother looks somewhat frumpish, you don’t see Michelle trying to copy her ‘look’, do you?

    • Helena says:

      JohnMG – Didn’t mean to imply you weren’t right. The magazine should have cancelled the whole shoot if, as you say, they had an ounce of courage. Why did they want her on their cover in the first place? The last I read about it, MO’s picture on the cover of any magazine (with the possible exception of Ebony) HURT sales more than it helped them. But that’s their choice. Perhaps they’ll learn to be a little more clear in their communications to “celebs” before the fact.

    • JohnMG says:

      I understood your point, Helena, and I agree with your basic premise about controling her own image. And I respect that inasmuch as I wouldn’t want someone making me into something I’m not. My gut feeling is that they weren’t going to do that at all. Rather they were going to work with what they had and were going to enhance what they had.

      But, like her husband, she just KNOWS she’s smarter than everybody else. IMO she should pray feverishly for someone to soften her image. Beauty is an attribute that transcends physical appearances. For some reason “lipstick on a pig” keeps popping into my mind.

    • Right of the People says:

      They didn’t want to cancel the shoot because an IRS audit would soon be on its merry way.

      If everyone did what I do and just ignore the woman it would be a better world. I once encountered some Hollywood self-important moron in a gift shop here in Vermont, I can’t even recall his name now, who tried to cut in line at the checkout so I told him to get his butt to the back of the line. He pulled that “Do you know who I am?” BS on me. I replied no, I had no idea whom he was and boy did he throw a hissy fit. He couldn’t believe I didn’t have any idea who he was. I imagine Mrs. Oblah-blah would be the same. Too many people fawn over these idiots, tell them all to screw.


  4. GetBackJack says:

    An image keeps playing in my head …. of Barry Otero standing at the conference table used for Cabinet meetings. His Cabinet is assembled (or, those who could pass the ethics test) and Barry, standing with his arms spread wide says to them …. and whom do men say I Am?

  5. proreason says:

    The woman gives me the creeps.

    It’s hard to comprehend that she is really a mother.

    In the world I’m familiar with, mothers do more than incubate fetuses, they create human beings through love and sacrifice and near infinite understanding and acceptance for human frailties; they are incapable of lashing out with venom, bile and hatred toward their neighbors.

    To mention Laura Bush, who personifies those virtues, in the same breath as Michelle Obama, who is the personification of vengence, is grotesque.

  6. MinnesotaRush says:

    Yet more proof that the MSM is just as phony as the o-blah-blah group.

  7. jobeth says:

    “Her Majesty draped an arm across the first lady’s back. Mrs. Obama returned the gesture, sparking endless discussion about whether it was wrong of her to touch the queen.”

    ???? Not the way I remembered it. I remember the “wonderful” Mrs. Obalmy touched the Queen first…which is a break in protocol.

    The Queen, in her usual graciousness when people embarass themselves, returned the touch.

    Much as she did the time someone once dipped their spoon for a sip in a finger bowl. The Queen, very quietly did the same thing so that the person wouldn’t be singled out. Grace the “first ‘ONE’ ” wouldn’t know about.

    “But the embrace also was a symbol of just how far Michelle Obama’s transformation had taken her. By getting a touch from the queen, she pulled off something few others have.”

    “she pulled off something few others have”….yep, embarrassing her country.

    Not to mention Obamy himself. Won’t bow to the Queen (not that he should), but couldn’t bow deep enough before a muslim King! But then we know what that was about…another story.

  8. Steve says:

    From CNN:

    Fashion-forward first lady hits all the right notes – CNN.com

    • JohnMG says:

      This guy was really funny. At first I thought this was some sort of satire, then I realized just how enamored he was of all things Obama. His verbal obeisance is a study in servility. You can almost hear the plea, “Oh how I wish I could be ‘them’, even if only for a day.” Is this Chris Matthews’ brother? It sounds like another quivering mass of protoplasm sprung from an identical gene pool..

    • jobeth says:

      You know, when I was a teen and learning how to “dress” a wise woman once told me….

      “YOU can wear the dress or the DRESS can wear you!”

      Appears no one ever told the Belle that.

      All the stuff the Brits say about Camilla can go double for the Belle.
      She reminds me of a horse. Walks like one.

      She’s oaffish, not graceful and has no fashion sense. Sadly she doesn’t seem to realize it.

      She was offered help by the fashion mags and refused it.

      Reminds me of another piece of good advice. “If someone offers you a breath mint…TAKE IT!”

      She should have taken their fashion advice!

    • JohnMG says:

      …..”She reminds me of a horse. Walks like one….”

      But a horse is supposed to walk like that. Her walk reminds me of that of a hod carrier I used to know. But then, he was carrying a hod of mortar at the time.

  9. Liberals Demise says:

    Just for the record:
    When the First Beach comes to a complete stop peoples’ glasses will break, necks will be whip lashed and countless noses will be broken and smudged!

  10. Celina says:

    Anyone catch the cover of Oprah’s magazine when she and MO were on it? O’s hands are clasped as if in prayer to MO. They can’t possibly be serious with this BS, can they? It also appeared to be more of a candid shot, as if they were in the middle of a conversation. I don’t recall any of O’s covers being anything other than posed. Actually, I don’t remember anyone other than O being on the cover of her own magazine though I can be mistaken.


    • soulpile says:

      I saw that cover and remarked upon that very likeness to prayer in Oprah’s posture. And yes, that was the first time Oprah deigned to share her cover.

  11. canary says:

    Reporter Darlene Superville must be AP’s pre-feminist Brittney Spears groupie.

    “Laura Bush says she wished she’d realized earlier the power she had as first lady.”

    How does Darlene compare Michele’s O’s fashion tea-partys with starletts as power compared to the

    First Lady Laura Bush’s power and hard work for children’s education, women’s health issues and rights.

    Michele focuses on fashion, the famous, educated wealthy children, she ignores the failure of the Obama’s administration in driving Afganistan back to hell.

    Laura started started the U.S. Afgan-American Women’s Council.
    Laura had girl-scouts sending school supplies to girls in Afganistan attending school for the 1st time in their lives. She continues her work with them though

    The minute Obama was elected, all progess disappeared. 15 girls had acid thrown in their faces, after the new rule they could not attend school anymore, while Micheles invites children to volunteer and grow her garden instead of their own.

    While Michele does fashion magazine shoots with her bareless arms

    the women in Afganistan are back to wearing hoods with no eye-lets, and imprisoned in their homes.

    Laura Bush fought for breast cancer, while Michele model’s clothing.

    Laura Bush pushed for HIV/AIDS study and global aid, while
    Michele decides which shoes go best with what dress, and which interview will write the biggest check to her live in mother.

    Shame on AP’s neglecting real issues, stooping to what sells the best to idiots.

  12. canary says:

    The magazine “was absolutely in the right” to run their business as to what they felt would economically will benefit in revenue, without leftist control.
    The magazine has to make money, via the designors who paid the magazine for publicity. Why let Michelobomi give publicity to her own designer, so she can get more free clothes of her own). Michelobomies Britney Spears fit, cost the magazine a fortune $ in delays, fitting, lighting, back-grounds, props, make-up artists, hairstylists, eyelash weaves, reapplying teeth make-up, staffing, delayed flights, other customers, cramming for deadline, overwriting the article to say pink. Pink is a tricky color to work with last minute. The magazine should send Michello a bill!!!

  13. Anonymoose says:

    Every day the saga of The Emperor’s New Clothes keeps going on. Michelle is simply ugly, and all the “good” things she is doing and being said about her have the manufactured air of spin (I still can’t believe that guy on CNN who said he had a crush on her.)

    I looked back at Sarah Palin and there was an attractive woman, yet all we heard about was how unintelligent she was, how the liberals were scared to death of her and how much her wardrobe cost.

    Do we hear anything about Michelle’s stylist? How much her clothes cost? Her attitude? Nope, it’s all a non-stop symphony about how “Gorgeous and Gracious” is the most charming woman on the planet. Anything else must be a lie!

    We truly have fallen through the looking glass, nothing the Obamas say or do will be held against them, our only hope seems to be if one of the two starts to go off script and ticks off the people who paid their way to the presidency.

    • proreason says:

      The comparison you draw between Sarah Palin, (beautiful, loving, kind, brilliant, grounded, accomplished) and Michelle Obama, (hateful, ugly, arrogant, revengeful, greedy, stupid, entitled, mean) is apt.

      The fact that the msm is gaga over MO and contemptuous of Sarah says it all about how perverted this country has become.

  14. jonnyjam says:

    What still amazes me she attended that racist/anti-American church for 20 years, and the media still has not asked her about it (that I’ve heard).
    One question would be “how could you bring your kids to that church”. It is a form of child abuse as far as I’m concerned. The audacity!

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