The Obama Media Blitz

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Sep 20, 2009 10:10 PM
So President Obama provided interviews to five different news shows airing today.  Here are two observations:

First, it's interesting that his aides think that the numerosity of the appearances will contribute to a "buzz" factor, according to the New York Times.  Really?  But isn't that "buzz" likely to be restricted to the people -- like New York Times journalists -- whom the President has already in his back pocket?  What regular American is going to be persuaded, or even influenced, by the fact that the President is conducting five -- rather than one, two, three or four -- Sunday news talk interviews?  Is The White House staff so trapped inside its own little New York-DC political-media axis that they don't realize that most people won't really care?

Second, it's noteworthy that the President has declined to appear on Fox.  Why refuse an opportunity to appear on the channel where'd he'd be most likely to reach outside his core constituencies?  The whole episode comes across as unbecomingly petulant -- if President Bush had refused to talk to every news outlet that he had felt was unfairly critical of him, he'd have had nowhere but Fox to appear. 

The decision suggests that Obama is willing to "reach out" -- but only on his terms, on his territory, where he can be assured of relatively friendly questioning and a largely sympathetic hearing.  That hardly bespeaks confidence, does it?  And the fact that he's willing to put his own personal animosity toward Fox ahead of what might be the best strategy for promoting his own health care "reform" seems to signal a pretty strong sense of entitlement and a not-entirely-wholesome process of priority-setting.