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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Overexposed, commercialized?

To hear the punditocracy yowl, you would think Barack Obama was Bill Mays hawking the Sham-Wow across the cable networks.

Much has been made by Obama's decision to tape five Sunday morning interviews -- a modified full Ginsburg named after Monica Lewinsky's attorney. But when you look at the 24-7, 140-character environment in which he must compete, is it overexpsoure -- or survival?

The Obama team carefully selected where they would bring the president -- Univision substituted for Fox in addition to the Big Four of news. Each Sunday morning show has different viewers. The odds of someone watching every moment of every interview are slim.

And the need to go straight to the people is paramount. With Obama on the sidelines during the summer, the noise of death squaders, birthers, tea baggers and the Rush and Beck societies overwhelmed the possibility real debate about health care.

The Saturday news shows had already decreed the message would be race relations because Obama touched on Jimmy Carter's remarks about Joe Wilson's uncivil behavior. ABC World News Sunday trotted trotted out pundits to bash the health plan from the left and right.

If the best communicator in the administration doesn't go out and work for his issues, who will?

It wasn't too long ago that we lamented we had a president who shunned talking to voters -- and when he did it was in the controlled environment of town halls where he invited sycophantic questioners.

While the Washington press corps once may have been somewhat tame in their questions, they never sank to the softballs lobbed at George Bush. And they certainly aren't throwing them now.

Nope, by getting out there -- including tonight's session with Dave Letterman -- Obama is doing what we would hope our leaders would do: be up front and make the best case they can for why they think a policy is worth pursuing.

No one is forcing Americans to watch -- and it is a lot easier to take Obama than listening to a dead man hawk products in 30-minute infomercials.

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Blogger Readwriteblue said...

First Billy Mays was a favorite of mine and may God have mercy on his soul.

I find it surprisingly insightful that you compare our President to a TV pitchman. It seems appropriate to me given that both are trying to sell the public items of questionable quality. On healthcare the Democrats have made three major mistakes. Too much Force, this bill was supposed to be voted on before the August recess. Too few Facts, the Democrats in congress have kept this a moving target so that they can claim it is what ever they what it to be. Now there are some 6 bills each of which is over 1000 pages and all of those bills contain something everyone can hate. Too many Fibs, this is a giant spending bill, to claim it is anything else is unbelievable on its face. 40 million people receiving healthcare will have costs and those cost will include less services for people now dependant on the government and more taxes on everyone. Sunday our President tried to avoid that fact by arguing semantics with George Stephanopoulos. That he has been out giving interview after interview is not in support of his policy, it is what he offers us instead of policy. And for what it is worth I find Billy Mays more entertaining.

September 22, 2009 1:52 PM  

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