Sunday, September 20, 2009
President Obama could learn a thing or two from Governor Palin.
The president is in my state, the state of New York. In fact, tomorrow he will be a mere 35 miles from where I live as he speaks at Hudson Valley Community College.
Today he made media round after media round, causing some to wonder if these plethora of appearances are too much of a "good" thing.
The New York Daily news reported:
Obama will push his health care reforms on five morning news shows today, an unprecedented presidential feat that has stirred debate over whether Obama has hit the point of overexposure.
Obama's decision to hit five network shows today - ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," CNN's "State of the Nation," CBS' "Face the Nation," NBC's "Meet the Press" and Univision's "Al Punto with Jorge Ramos" - is known in media circles as "the Full Ginsburg."
It is so named after William Ginsburg, who in 1998 became the first person to hit five shows in one Sunday as the attorney for White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Hillary Clinton later did it when she launched her presidential bid in 2007.
Obama is the first President to even try, which just underscores his comfort level with the medium, experts said.
Comfort level? Hmmm...Well, apparently he's not too comfortable with one particular media outlet, and that would be Fox News. It appears he's still pouting that they are not cheering, fainting, and getting tingly leg sensations at the mere sound of his voice. Therefore, he won't give them the time of day. For a president many tout as a brilliant politician, why has he thumbed his nose at the cable news show that leads all others? An L.A. Times article called "Top of the Ticket" stated:
Latest ratings out for the second quarter of 2009 show the top-rated FNC having one of the best quarters in its entire history with prime-time ratings jumping an astounding 34%, not all of them Obama fans. That 8-11 p.m. slot is crucial for viewers -- and ad dollars -- which includes Fox's showcase "The O'Reilly Factor."
Throughout the viewing day, Fox News did even better with its 1.2 million viewers, on average, more than doubling CNN's 598,000 and more than tripling third-place trailer MSNBC's average audience of 392,000.
With the resistence of the American people to accept President Obama's Health Care Bill, one would think it a "brilliant" political move for him to have swallowed his intense dislike for the cable news channel he's always dissing and to have capitalized on the advantages of granting them an interview. Instead, didn't he dodge an opportunity to reach across the aisle, show he is not the ultra-partisan president he has been accused of being, and stand up to the hardball questions he would get from Fox that he would likely not get from other media outlets? GOP lawmakers said yes.
A handful of Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Joe Wilson (S.C.), say that President Barack Obama is ignoring a large segment of the public by refusing to appear on Fox News.
Obama is scheduled this weekend to appear on every major Sunday talk show except for “Fox News Sunday.”
Fox News, which is considered more conservative-leaning than ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN, confirmed Obama will not be interviewed on its network on Sunday.
Wilson, who was reprimanded this week by the House for his outburst at Obama last week, said that by excluding Fox, the president was not being fair.
"If people are going to be on the Sunday talk shows, they should be on all of them,” Wilson said.
Freshman Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said that the White House’s media strategy is an example of the president not living up to his promise to change the tone in Washington.
“The only thing this shows is that the president is ignoring a very large segment of this country. He said he was going to reach across party lines and be a different kind of president, but so far he hasn’t followed through with real action,” Scalise said.
Some House Democrats saw nothing wrong with Obama’s decision to forgo Fox.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said that it has become clear “which networks are really fair” while predicting that the president will eventually appear on “Fox News Sunday” in the future.
So President Obama chose to appear on "really fair" networks while ignoring the likes of Fox News? Well, how interesting is that. I say the president has a lot to learn.
Rewind to the 2008 campaign. People can say what they want about the McCain camp throwing Governor Palin to the wolves when they allowed the likes of Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson to have at her. Both Couric and Gibson had an agenda. Katie couldn't get past the abortion question and Charlie played a gotcha game with the Bush Doctrine question. Prior to both interviews, the McCain camp clearly knew that the interviewers were in the tank for Obama. We can go round and round about that decision, but there's one thing that stands out about the McCain camp as I consider that the President of the United States refused to appear on Fox News even as he seeks to win over the American people on health care: At least they didn't hide. I don't know why they refused to sit her down with Bill O'Reilly but instead sat her with Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson. But I do know she went on.
I also know that when she returned to Alaska after the election, she invited Matt Lauer into her home and let him interview her. She didn't hide.
I know, too, that upon her resignation announcement in July, Governor Palin didn't shy away from Andrea Mitchell but while fishing granted her an interview. Again, no hiding.
The bottom line is that Governor Palin, demonstrating true leadership, has neither run away nor been shielded from those who have not exactly been in her corner. President Obama, on the other hand, has almost every media outlet in his back pocket, and he wouldn't even rise to the challenge of the one "fair and balanced" one that was sure to ask him the toughest questions--questions to which Americans want honest answers. He's not even campaigning anymore(or is he?); he's already got the job. And he's not lying about health care, right? So what's the problem?
Maybe he'll answer that question while he visits with David Letterman tomorrow night. Surely that'll be a tough interview.