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NYT Warns: Obama Is Over-Exposed

From a not so gently chiding New York Times:

Obama Complains About the News Cycle but Manipulates It, Worrying Some

By PETER BAKER

July 24, 2009

WASHINGTON — It has become his common lament. Challenged about difficulties with his economic or legislative programs, President Obama complains about the tyranny of “the news cycle,” pronouncing the words with an air of above-it-all disdain for the impatience and fecklessness of today’s media culture.

Yet after six months in office, perhaps no other president has been more attuned to, or done more to dominate, the news cycle he disparages. Mr. Obama has given roughly three times as many interviews as George W. Bush and held four times as many prime-time news conferences as Bill Clinton had by comparable points in their terms.

In the past four days, Mr. Obama gave “exclusive” interviews to Jim Lehrer of PBS, Katie Couric of CBS and Meredith Vieira of NBC. He gave two interviews to The Washington Post on one day, one to the editorial page editor and one to news reporters. He held a conference call with bloggers. His hourlong session in the East Room on Wednesday night was his second news conference of the day. And on Thursday, he invited Terry Moran of ABC to spend the day with him for a “Nightline” special.

The all-Obama, all-the-time carpet bombing of the news media represents a strategy by a White House seeking to deploy its most effective asset in service of its goals, none more critical now than health care legislation. But longtime Washington hands warn that saturation coverage can diminish the power of his voice and lose public attention.

About 24.7 million viewers tuned in Wednesday, according to Nielsen ratings, some 4 million fewer than watched his last evening news conference in April and 25 million fewer than saw his first in February. Mr. Obama’s focus on health care produced what Chuck Todd of NBC described as a “snoozer conference,” a line the Republican National Committee happily adopted…

Some Democrats said Mr. Obama should worry about frittering away the novelty of his presence. “It’s a risk of overexposure,” said Joe Trippi, a political consultant. “If you use it all up on health care, you may not be able to use it on something else. But if you’re going to risk using it all up, this is the one to risk it on.”

Past presidents have been more exclusive in giving exclusives, believing they would have more impact. In their first four months, Mr. Clinton gave 11 interviews and Mr. Bush gave 18, compared with 43 by Mr. Obama, according to Martha Joynt Kumar, a presidential communications scholar at Towson State University. That has accelerated in recent days as Mr. Obama popped up in venues like“Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN and “Dr. Nancy” on MSNBC…

Mr. Obama prefers long-form sessions, eschewing the more typical way presidents have used to get out their views. Past presidents routinely took a couple questions from reporters during photo opportunities. Mr. Clinton answered questions 158 times this way in his first six months, compared with Mr. Obama’s 30

If Mr. Obama is an energetic producer of news, he also seems to be an avid consumer. At Wednesday’s news conference, he seemed to address or borrow ideas from two columns in that morning’s newspapers.

Steven Pearlstein, an economic columnist for The Washington Post, had written: “Among the range of options for health-care reform, there’s one that is sure to raise your taxes, increase your out-of-pocket medical expenses, swell the federal deficit, leave more Americans without insurance and guarantee that wages will remain stagnant. That’s the option of doing nothing.”

During the news conference, Mr. Obama said: “If somebody told you that there is a plan out there that is guaranteed to double your health care costs over the next 10 years, that’s guaranteed to result in more Americans losing their health care, and that is by far the biggest contributor to our federal deficit, I think most people would be opposed to that. Well, that’s the status quo.”

Similarly, David Leonhardt, an economics columnist for The New York Times, had written: “What’s in it for me? On the subject of health care reform, most Americans probably don’t have a good answer to the question. And that, obviously, is a problem for the White House and for Democratic leaders in Congress.”

Mr. Obama responded in his opening remarks: “A lot of Americans may be wondering, ‘What’s in this for me? How does my family stand to benefit from health insurance reform?’ So tonight I want to answer those questions.”

Things must be getting pretty out of hand when even Mr. Obama’s foremost cheerleaders, the New York Times, think he is on television too much.

Of course they are worried that if the great unwashed see too much of him they will begin to cotton on that he isn’t quite what he has been made out to be. And that his vaunted plans make no sense and are doing more harm than good.

Past presidents routinely took a couple questions from reporters during photo opportunities. Mr. Clinton answered questions 158 times this way in his first six months, compared with Mr. Obama’s 30.

There are no teleprompters at photo ops.

If Mr. Obama is an energetic producer of news, he also seems to be an avid consumer. At Wednesday’s news conference, he seemed to address or borrow ideas from two columns in that morning’s newspapers.

Well, let’s just say Mr. Axelrod reads the columns. Still, that The Times would zing Mr. Obama this way is very interesting.

We suspect that by noting Mr. Obama’s plagiarism, they are signaling the White House that they are quite serious about this.

They really want him to shut up before he reveals too much.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 24th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “NYT Warns: Obama Is Over-Exposed”

  1. Melly says:

    Barry may be popular but he is enjoying the popularity of a celebrity. He is no Messiah, no great leader, no icon. He is merely a celebrity. And he is about to suffer the pitfalls of being a celebrity.

    Just ask Corey Feldman.

  2. ThreeBus says:

    LET ME BE CLEAR

    Obama is a racist thug.
    I’d really like to see that birth certificate too.

    Please join with me in overusing “LET ME BE CLEAR”
    I swear thats all I hear when the teleprompter opens it’s mouth.

  3. proreason says:

    The rats are getting nervous as the ship begins to take on water.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    “Obama is over exposed”

    You betcha!!
    His sickle and hammer are fully exposed as are his racial overtones towards whites!!
    (personally I hope he continues working without the aid of a teleprompter or safety net)

  5. Rusty Shackleford says:

    NYT Warns: Obama Is Over-Exposed, King’s New Clothes Revealed.
    July 24th, 2009

    (There, that’s better)

  6. MinnesotaRush says:

    LET ME BE CLEAR o-blah-blah simply HAS to be in stage center! He’s an egomaniac! He’ll continue to insert himself in the limelight of whatever format he can; and will continue to reveal the racist fraud he is.

  7. caligirl9 says:

    Perhaps he should just shut up and work …

    Or maybe it’s best he NOT do that … Keep talking, o-blah-blah, the more we have to impeach you with someday soon!

  8. neocon mom says:

    We’ll continue to see shades of this. The left and its frenemy culture will take jabs at Obama from time to time. But expect them to lighten up, even contradict themselves come 2012.

  9. canary says:

    Obama has to comment, when the news mentions the jeans he wears. He has to make fun of Jessica Simpson weight, Special Olympians, Sports, He addresses everything said about him. He’s star struck on himself. Dances on Ellen Degenerous as to his wife being a better dancer, but he’s a better dancer than McCain. I’m really hoping he doesn’t run another term, and goes to Hollywood. That was his original goal, later followed by writing poems and literature. He is probably chomping on the bit, to get out of the whitehouse where he can hang with celebrities. That is if becoming a dictator doesn’t work out.

  10. jobeth says:

    “Of course they are worried that if the great unwashed see too much of him they will begin to cotton on that he isn’t quite what he has been made out to be”.

    To paraphrase an old saying…’better to let the people think you’re stupid, empty headed or just plain evil than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.!’

    Me thinks his mouth and enormous ego and love of seeing himself “out there” in front of his peons…will eventually do him in. We can only hope!


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