WaPo Feeling Snubbed By Obama – It’s The Hunger Games Effect

Hunger Games

The folks at The Washington Post are feeling snubbed by President Obama these days. But they aren’t the only ones, he avoids interviews with print media outlets in favor of television appearances all the time.

“Entertainment Tonight” scored one last year. The New York Times did not.

“The View” has gotten several. The Washington Post hasn’t had one in years.

Albuquerque radio station KOB-FM’s“Morning Mayhem” crew interviewed him in August. The last time the Wall Street Journal did so was in 2009.

America’s newspapers have trouble enough these days, what with shrinking ad revenue and straying readers. But the daily print-and-pixel press also hasn’t gotten much love lately from the biggest newsmaker in the business: President Obama.

When Obama does media interviews these days, it’s not with a newspaper. TV gets the bulk of the president’s personal attention, from his frequent appearances on “60 Minutes” to MTV to chitchats with local stations around the country. Magazines — including the New Republic, which recently landed an interview conducted by its owner, Facebook co-founder and former Obama campaign operative Chris Hughes — are a distant second, followed by radio.

Why would he waste his time with serious (albeit biased in his favor) news outlets that the uninformed voters don’t bother with? Better to reach the masses with his personal charm and friendly media outlets, as Ed Morrissey pointed out.

 Instead of focusing attention on the readership of newspapers, which are more politically attuned and probably in Obama’s camp already, Obama focused on media outlets that catered to the less-engaged and less-informed.  That gave him an opportunity to sell his agenda without facing tough questions from politically-engaged and informed reporters, making the sale even easier.

Even his interviews in more traditional outlets came with reporters who aren’t exactly inclined to get tough with Obama.  He chose CBS’ Steve Kroft because Kroft wasn’t going to surprise him with tough questions — as Kroft himself admitted to Piers Morgan.  Farhi also notes that Obama’s interview in The New Republic, normally a politically sophisticated magazine, was conducted by new publisher and former Obama adviser and volunteer Chris Hughes. (Read More)

Morrissey went on to note that the media outlets continue to let him get away with what I’ calling a Hunger Games strategy. Politics has turned into a complete spectacle. Just look at the upcoming State of the Union address. They bring human props, like Nancy Pelosi inviting a Sandy Hook survivor as a special guest, no doubt to guarantee a little extra TV time. Washington, DC has become the center of the United States economy, as the bureaucrats extracting our money regulate our lives down to the minutia. All the while the people watch the spectacle they put on day in and day out with no inkling that their rights and liberties are being violated on a daily basis. It’s just another reality show.

We’re in a lot of trouble. The Washington Post wonders, Are we in the End Times of Trust in Government?

Oh, yes. But I think we’re also in the End Times of being able to rescue ourselves from this headlong tumble we’re taking as a nation willing to be lied to, comfortable with fakery andfecklessness, and content to caricature and sneer at the people trying to preserve basic freedoms. (Read More)

The only difference I see between the people in DC today, and those in the Capitol of the Hunger Games is that in DC most (but not all) have avoided the garish makeup and outfits depicted in the movie. Oh, and they aren’t forcing the states to send up tributes to fight to their death for all to witness. Not yet anyway. As it is, politics has become just another gross form of reality TV for the masses.