President Barack Obama was right when he said the media and pundits will strive to create controversy where this is none. The media, pundits and bloggers always develop severe cases of ass bumps when they hear the president call them out for focusing on daily trivia instead of serious news and events that serious journalists should concentrate on.
So naturally, after the president’s appearance on The View, Thursday ( July 29), many faithful critics said the President had disgraced the office of the presidency. Never mind that President George Bush was interviewed by Dr. Phil at his Crawford Ranch in Texas. None of these “critics” said a single, solitary word. Because they bottled Bush’s urine and drank a glass of it twice a day without question, they now feel they must scrutinize and question everything President Obama does. It's payback for sleeping soundly for eight years.
Immediately after the interview on The View ended, I read and listened to the critics. I was interested how they would spin the appearance. Not to my surprise, they did not focus on the serious portions of the interview. They proved exactly what President Obama has been saying. They created a make believe controversy between Snooki, a reality show player, and the President of the United States! They said the president lied when he said he did not know who Snooki is. He was accused of “dodging” the question about a screaming, intoxicated Mel Gibson.
Hell, I did not know who Snooki was! I later learned that she was on a reality show. I have never seen the show.
Someone in the media dug up a video of this year’s press dinner, where President Obama, in his comedic mode, read jokes that someone had written for him. One of the jokes about tanning bed taxes included Snooki and Sen. Boehner. Reading a joke does not amount to knowing Snooki. None of the gossip or serious news programs mentioned that the president was reading jokes written for him.
Below is part of the script that focuses on the president:
Lawrence O’Donnell: President Obama took a little time today to enjoy The View. Because there he was, the first time a sitting president visited a day time talk show. Although then President Bush was on Dr. Phil, he did not go to the set of Dr. Phil. So The View can, indeed, claim bragging rights. And in our #1 story, the highlights, as well as the inevitable question: Why? The show was taped yesterday, touching on all the obvious subjects, and it gave the president a chance to do what all president do: criticize the media.
O’Donnell plays a clip of President Obama: The things that the media may focus are not necessarily things I focus on. I have to sign letters to parents of children who have been killed in Afghanistan. The fact of the matter is that the media culture right now loves conflict. And if there is a story about cooperation between the two Parties, that story doesn’t make the news. What makes the news is somebody who says something outlandish or as outrageous as possible.
On the Shirley Sherrod controversy the president broadened the blame. President Obama (another clip): A 24/7 media cycle that’s always looking for controversy, and oftentimes doesn’t get to the facts first, generated a phony controversy. A lot of people overreacted, including people in my administration. And part of the lesson that I want everybody to draw is let’s not assume the worst of other people.
Now various times throughout the show the president highlighted his administration’s accomplishments, and he stressed an improved economy even while acknowledging consistent unemployment.
O'Donnell plays another clip of President Obama is answering Elizabeth Hasselback’s question about the number of jobs losses prior to his taking office and now.
The president submitted to a lightning round on pop culture, including the question about if Snooki should run for mayor of Wasilla.
Laughing, President Obama admitted that he does not know who Snooki is.
The View fans were left wondering if there was any significance to the fact that all the co-host were dressed in black, and or white. Hummm. Let’s bring in the White House correspondent for Politics Daily, Alex Wagner. Evening Alex. Let’s go to the big question: Why, oh, why did the president of the United States do The View?
Alex Wagner: This was slow pitch softball, Lawrence. And if it was not a home run, it was a solid base hit.
Now the president lied about the reason he chose to be on The View, saying that he was looking for a show that his wife actually looked (at). Now isn’t this the old political tradition of just pretending the wife is some of....you know... fully... not loaded intellectually in character. Here is a Harvard law school graduate, Michelle Obama, at 11 a.m. in Washington is not watching The View. There is no reason for anyone to believe that, is there?
Just to clear up any questions the audience might have from our opening, he (President Obama) did acknowledge that he was aware that Lindsey Lohan was in jail, but he told that big lie about not knowing who Snooki was. Snooki doesn’t fit into that category. Did he get the answer right with the false claim . . . obviously a false claim that he does not know who Snooki is.
Alex Wagner: (laughing nervously) You know that was that tanning bed tax that both Boehner and Snooki were asking him to repeal. You know this Snooki thing . . . you know whenever Obama breaks out into a smile like this, his popularity goes up at least few points. And yes, he’s talking about the very serious side of being the Commander-in-Chief, which is writing notes to the mothers and fathers of the children who have been killed in Afghanistan... and you know he can’t do that and segue into that and say I also watch Jersey Shore everyday.
Alex Wagner, thanks for helping us get Snooki into Countdown.
O’Donnell, like his gossipy co-horts, made three notable statements in which he attempted to create controversy where there is none. He had no proof to back the assumptions he made. The women on The View were not dressed in all black or white. Only Elizabeth wore a white dress. I doubt if Countdown viewers noticed the color the women were wearing. Whoopi had on a dark gray coat, white blouse and black pants.
O’Donnell said Michelle Obama did not watch The View, implying that the show was beneath her intellect. Again, he is trying to create controversy where there is none. He called President Obama a lie when he said he did not know Snooki. He offered no proof as to how he knew this for a fact. The president has stated publicly that he likes sports and a variety of music. No one needs proof of that. The president said it himself.
O’Donnell’s ass bumps were itching, and the only way he could scratch the itch was to attack President Obama, and his appearance on The View. That’s called trying create controversy where there is none.