Okay, Now Things Are Officially Getting Silly

Seen on CNN.com just a couple of minutes ago:

So, Obama getting on a plane to fly somewhere constitutes actual news now? Really? Doesn’t the actual news value of his trip begin once he lands and goes to the White House? Because, speaking as a former newspaperman, that’s where I would personally start my coverage.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in the tank for Obama and all. But I think breathless enthusiasm for a man traveling by one of those aeroplanar contraptionations might be edging into ridiculousness. Might. Maybe. I’m just saying.

60 thoughts on “Okay, Now Things Are Officially Getting Silly

  1. There’s supposed to be an actual syndrome now whereby people have gotten addicted to all the Obama news coverage and are desperately seeking more – anything! tell me what they’re going to name the puppy! – even after the election. Apparently the news channels have caught the bug.

  2. How much you want to bet Fox News is going to spin that as evidence that Obama is a drug and that the ‘liberal media’ are the pushers?

  3. Forget all this business about flying to the Oval Office, I do want to know more about their upcoming puppy.

  4. I think it’s related to what happened to CNN over the weekend. Everyone had their vacations planned for right after the election was over so most of the on-screen talent looked like they were still in high school.

    Plus, how many good politicians have we lost because they got in their winged steel tube air thingies?

  5. It’s going to be quite awhile before Obama Syndrome begins to wear off of the national consciousness. Currently, everything the man does — including taking a shit — is newsworthy.

    Surprisingly, now that the guy has been elected, it doesn’t bother me that much. We’ve not seen a President-elect enjoy this much adoration since Reagan. I think Obamists deserve to revel in the glow of their One for a few months.

    Reality sets in quickly enough.

  6. Perhaps there’s a hidden dynamic of how the news works; maybe there’s a sort of shamanistic ritual going on:

    If news providers fill the airtime/printspace with as much Obama Detail as possible, there will be none left for Bad Things; ergo, Bad Things Won’t Happen.

    Works for me…

  7. I think the real news story here is that this is Obama’s FIRST look at the Oval Office. Who takes a job without looking at the office first? How far is it from the printer? Does the only window look out onto a brick airshaft? Is there a guy in the next cube with adenoids who honks all the time trying to clear his passages? You’ve got to know these things before you sign the contract.

  8. That’s 24 hour news for you. Not more news, just the information they have, spread as thinly as they need to fill the space available. Editorial values fly out of the window when there’s nothing actually happening because heaven forbid teh screen should be blank.

  9. John, I will totally write up a nice press release for you about taking Athena to school.

    Now, the marketing thereof is a different story…

  10. Redski

    That’s 24 hour news for you. Not more news, just the information they have, spread as thinly as they need to fill the space available. Editorial values fly out of the window when there’s nothing actually happening because heaven forbid teh screen should be blank.

    Except there are other things happening in the world.

    President of Poland after speaking with Obama
    “That anti-missile shield is a go”
    Obama: “No it’s not.”

    Is Syria planning on invading Lebanon again?

    Oh, and Happy Birthday, US Marines Corps.

  11. I was at the in-laws on Saturday and they had Fox on. Fox was all over Michelle’s clothes choices.

    CNN I think is just wanting to keep everyone watching them now that the election is over and Obama made people read so hey! lets talk about Obama.

    Fox… hmm maybe the same. Or maybe they just want to bore you to death about him so people will get sick of him? Try to give out every detail so people are overwhelmed about him and then tire of him. Setting the stage for 2012? Either that or making sure the Obama stalkers know where he is at ever minute of the day.

    Both news organizations are doing the same thing but I just think one is doing it for less than nice reasons. Guess who!

  12. Slow news day??

    They forget this is a courtesy extended by all sitting president’s and first ladies to thier successors immediately after the election. Oh, wait, they’re hoping GWB will make one of his famous unscripted gaffs!!

    Ibid @ 9: I too noticed our local Atlanta market on-air talent was of a much younger generation this weekend as well. Including one young man who actually IS the son of Don Farmer.

    I think all the regulars were collapsed in a heap in a corner from exhaustion!

    Of course, over the weekend here they had to follow all the civil rights leaders that now live in Atlanta and get their take on the election…most of them never expected to see this in thier life time! So, they’re all thrilled!

    But, it’s not just confined to the civil rights community!
    My 89 (almost 90) year old father (son of parents that emigrated from Poland over a hundered years ago) he too spent the last week marveling at how far we’ve come in his lifetime! AS did the rest of our family.

    Soon enough the novelty (not the acomplishment) of the Obamas’ daily comings & goings will wear off and everyone can get back to their lives.

    As you were.

  13. @Matt Jarpe #13: You win this thread. Well done, sir.

    @Frank #16: So that’s why that guy was wearing his Marine uniform on the bus this morning. That makes sense.

  14. Did you even read the headline? It doesn’t say “Obama rides plane to visit Oval Office”, it says “Obama flies…”! That is news.

    I mean, we all knew he could walk on water, but actual flight is a totally new power.

  15. I read that CNN headline and assumed Obama put on his tights and cape and flew to the White House, just like any other superhero. (grin)

    Happy 233rd birthday, Marine Corps. Also my mommy’s birthday. Same day, different year, as she always had to point out to us kids. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  16. It kind of reminds me of a story a friend told about being in Brazil when Rush was on tour there. Rush, in Brazil, are what the Beatles were in the States in 1964– except all the time.

    The local broadcasters were apparently interrupting other shows and other news to announce that Rush had gotten off the plane in Rio, Rush were going through baggage check, etc.

    I don’t know what’s weirder, Rush being in Barack Obama’s position, or the President-Elect of the United States being in Rush’s position.

  17. But if the news media fires all those roving reporters they’ve had following the candidates around for two years, the economy will completely collapse! har har.

  18. Yeesh. There’s someone in a newsroom somewhere desperately trying to hang onto the ratings they had when there was actual news to cover. Forget it, man! It’s gone! For at least four years! Preferably more, because the only reason people cares about this election was because of how ballsed up things had gotten!

    Then again, you could feel greatful. Lots of news traffic, public outcry and indeed a matter raised Commons Questions in Parliament today in the Uck. This earth-shakingly important matter? Someone getting voted off X-Factor by the judges.

    I might make … odd … comments about green ink and, er, things and occasionally post whilst pickled, but you can’t tell me I’m madder than the world at large. Not in a way I’ll beleive, anyway.

  19. Breaking news! Obama scratches his butt! What does this mean to the common man, for the future of our nation!?

    The media is seriously addicted to mainlining Obama… where no news exists, they will find SOMETHING and make it news.

  20. If it turns out that Obama can play the drums as well as Neil Peart, we’ll know that the country is in good hands.

  21. Ummm… I think this story would have come up even if it was President-Elect McCain. It’s not Obamamania, it’s just the way news outlets these days jump like slavering starving dogs on the superficial. And there’s going to be more of it, so brace yourself.

  22. CNN does this so we all know that there is always something interesting going on, and we would be totally missing it if we don’t have a browser instance of CNN up at all times.

    Unfortunately for CNN, this is what you get when, in fact, there isn’t something interesting going on at every moment of every day worthy of the hot banner on a premier news site. Sometimes life is just normal, just routine. Frequently, in fact. Nearly perpetually, in all candor. And you know what? That may not be all that bad (or at least that’s the Buzz at Yahoo).

  23. Isn’t anyone else impressed and yet terrified by the fact that the webpage for the President-Elect went up the day after the election and has a full slate for all manner of changes? http://change.gov/agenda/urbanpolicy/

    If they are really that on-the-ball, then it is entirely conceivable that Congress could steamroll a slew of bills through starting on November 21 before the Republicans can muster any effective opposition whatsoever.

    Now, before you start, you may think that is a good thing. Personally, I think that spirited debate and careful, reasoned analysis of the effect of bills is a good thing to undertake before they pass. Take a good look at the site and think “What would happen if all of this was ramrodded through Congress in a two-month period?”

    Hmm… checking the link again a couple of days afterward – it seems they deleted large chunks of proposed agenda, including the parts about renewing the Assault Weapons ban, all references to tax increases and so on. Perhaps there may be more opposition than one first thought. Alternatively, perhaps they might not be as on-the-ball as firs thought. Scary: perhaps they are more on the ball and are hiding their intentions which were inadvertently revealed.

  24. I don’t think that they would be doing this quite as much for a McCain presidency. There just wasn’t that much enthusiasm for a McCain presidency. Obama on the other hand…

    This is a combination of things, I think. First, that the American people are ready to be done with the Bush years. They were honestly hoping that Bush would come out with one of his crazy executive orders, except this time it would be installing Obama ten weeks early.

    Second, for once in his life, Bush is doing something right – he’s doing everything he can to ensure that the transition is a smooth one, including having the president elect over to the white house immediately, and likely having some discussions of substance. That, alone, would make the trip newsworthy.

    Though I do agree, John, that the sheer fact that he got on the plane does seem to wander willfully into the realm of overdoing it.

  25. Darn, Dr. Phil beat me to it. That headline says nothing about him being on an actual plane.

    Now, the important question is … Can I get that on one of CNN’s stupid “headline” tee shirts? Those are almost as bad as the “headline of something tragic or gross happening – WATCH NOW!” links. It’s so immensely voyeuristic.

  26. KIA @32

    Hmm… checking the link again a couple of days afterward – it seems they deleted large chunks of proposed agenda, including the parts about renewing the Assault Weapons ban, all references to tax increases and so on. Perhaps there may be more opposition than one first thought.

    Count me as one of those who think that the appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s Chief of Staff was a signal that the President-elect does not want to get steam-rolled by the Democrats in Congress.

    He will be President now and he knows that to be successful with the public he is going to have to be judicious.

    Call me an optimist, but I think: so far so good.

    OTOH, if he really does pick Jamie Gorelick as AG, I’ll be getting very nervous….

  27. Sigh. One of the bad effects of such a miserable presidential term as is coming to an end, is the exploding level of expectations. That leads to wacko news.

    I said I’d vote for whoever the Democrats ran, short of Cthulu himself, and even that, I’d think about. I even said I’d vote for another Clinton!* [sound of gargle for keyboard to remove bad ... uh, taste] As it happens, I voted for BHOII in the primary and in the general election. He seemed the best of the usual bad lot. (He’s inexperienced, overpromises, and uses “we” too much in his sentences.)

    I’ll be satisfied if BHOII doesn’t disappoint me quite as much as I expect him to. If he does it for good reasons (no money, no easy way to quickly disengage in Iraq, etc.) I’ll even be very happy. If he can avoid starting any more wars, not cause the economy to regress even further, and reduce the rate at which we’re building up the national debt, he’ll be a success compared to #43.

    Now he should go away and work quietly until Jan. 20th. As should the media. Don’t these people have a dismal festive winter solstice holiday shopping season to report on?

    Regards,
    Jack Tingle

    * I object to dynastic politics in our Republic. I don’t care if it’s the Kennedy dynasty, the Bush dynasty, or the Clinton dynasty. Look how well the Adams family did.

  28. John, they may not have covered you dropping off your daughter at school locally, but we saw it here in California. FYI, you’re supposed to bring the car to a complete stop.

  29. Oh, come on, John….this is the first public meeting of the lame duck president and the president-elect, following a very contentious campaign in which candidates from BOTH parties attempted to distance themselves from the current administration. It’s newsworthy simply for the intimation of friction alone, regardless of how it actually will play out.

    And silly or not, this is the honeymoon, as you well know. People are interested in anything Obama does, especially if it might give clues to what he’s thinking about or planning. The shine isn’t off of the apple yet, and folks are still flush with election sugar-rush or waiting for post-election schadenfreude. Either way, Obama’s the belle of the ball until January 20th, at the earliest. Resolve yourself to it, sir.

  30. I must admit I am a bit obsessed to see what the new puppy will be and to see those two girls entering the White House for the first time. It’s just sad what this election has reduced me to.

  31. This isn’t anything new. I remember how Jon Stewart recently made fun of CNN for paying so much attention to OJ Simpson driving to or from the courthouse. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but ridiculous attention on the transporting to an important event isn’t anything new.

  32. Just think of him as Zoe, and us as the Obin.

    At least he’s not hiding all the time, like the current vice president.

  33. This thing with Bush trying to make this transition as easy as possible, I know that some conspiracy theorists might have a different view on the situation. Before the election was over I heard quite a lot of those arguing that Bush would never give up this government and would stage some terrorist attack or something to get a reason why he should continue. I was thinking of a word here, “unntakstilstand” in norwegian, I got the english word somewhere around here but I can’t find it >.>

    Anyway, I’m all for those conspiracy theorists concerning 9/11, but this one? Naaah.
    However, as those theroists claims that Bush will stage some terrorist attack to go on ruling, I find it disturbing that “Bin Laden”, or rather some tape with a voice claimed to be his, warned against a new attack in the US, worse than 9/11. This warning, conspiracy theorists of course will say was staged by the Bush administration. Was this something al-Qaida did just to fuel the conspiracy theorists? This is how they want it to happen:
    - Give the conspiracy theorists more fuel
    - Conspiracy theorists continue their theories, or make even crazier ones.
    - This way, conspiracy theorists will litterally pound Bush’s big empty head with crazy ideas
    - Bush uses one of those ideas and continue his admin.
    - Al-Qaida happy with more useless Bush

    I’m done blabbing now, go on.

    Bob @ 38
    Haha :D

  34. Roxanne@44 – But think of it this way: the most important job of the VP is to take-over if the President becomes incapacitated. Therefore it is vitally important for the succession and the nation that the VP remain safe (and also means a serious attempt to decapitate the US should begin with a strike against the VP so as to limit the preparedness of the next successor) and what better way to keep the VP safe than to have no one know his location?

    It makes sense from where I sit.

  35. Yeah, CNN also went with “Obama’s historic visit to the Whitehouse.” I had to ask what’s historic about it. Surely previous President elects have visited the White house. Surely Obama has already visited the White House being a Senator and all. CNN seems a bit breathless.

  36. Two weeks ago it was two presidential candidates, two veep candidates and a shite load of reporters.

    Now it is ONE president-elect (and didn’t there used to be someone named Biden?) and a whole shite load of reporters.

    Sorta like the WPA or CCC for reporters. Make work for them or lay ‘em off.

  37. *spoiler alert*

    Obama wants to see if he really CAN open the secret tunnel under the President’s Desk in the Oval Office that leads to the outskirts of DC.

    What? Don’t you people watch South Park?

  38. Mr. S. I knew we had a kindrid spiritship. You remember though, deadlines wait for no one. Until the rainbow fart materializes, Obama chewing gum will make headlines. (And really, given the up in the threshold of expectations for our fearless leaders… that’s something)

  39. I’ve read more than enough about the hairless low-allergy puppy (with pics!) that some country is trying to foist on the Obamas. Bet it’s got a listening device pinned to the underside of its knackers.

  40. I was about to explore the malapropic properties of Obama Chewing Gum, but it got so wrong so fact that I’ll just leave the meme here on the windowsill and hope that the cat gets it.

  41. During the late night news, they had a rundown of everything Obama and Michelle did once they got to the White House. ‘Obama shakes Bush’s hand’; ‘Obama puts hand on Bush’s shoulder’; ‘Michelle and Laura talk about children’ (which is a whole other piss and moan for me-like these women are only good for non political activities; give me a freakin break); ‘Obama and Bush head into the White House’, on and on and on. I actually asked the TV, outloud, “This is news!?”

  42. And I just read today that the Secret Service has released the codenames for the new First Family:

    Barack = Renegade
    Michelle = Renaissance
    Malia = Radiance
    Sasha = Rosebud

    Joe Biden and wife Jill are “Celtic” and “Caprice.”

    I wonder what McCain’s would have been. “Maverick” is too easy. Would Palin have been “Pitbull”?

  43. Wait until they go shopping for the “First Dog”, then you’ll see hard-hitting coverage.

    In the meantime, just turn off the T.V. and either pick up a book or write one (depending on whether you’re an author or not).

  44. zakur @# 57: If the various code names are alliterative, and Jill Biden’s is “Caprice”, does that mean the Secret Service is actually pronouncing “Celtic” correctly?

    Linguists across the world rejoice.

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