I was, of course, also not surprised to hear comments like the following from the squawking heads at Fox:
"I don't think it looked very presidential..."
"It's a move that some are calling inappropriate..."
"Whatever happened to the majesty of the office?"
But, I do have to admit that I was a tad surprised that the bulk of the attack seemed to have to do with “snubbing” Boy Scouts.
The Right Wing squawking heads were seriously complaining because President Obama passed on speaking to the “Boy Scout Jamboree” in order to appear on a popular, Emmy winning show, conceived and created by one of the most respected women in news, Barbara Walters.
Faux News was all atwitter with things like the following:
"I feel sorry for the boy scouts, cuz they would have loved
to have seen their president."
"The president, who serves as honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America,
had been invited to speak…”
"It's the 100 year anniversary of the Boy Scouts but instead of honoring the
future leaders of our country, the president sat down with the ladies of The View"
"How can 45,000 boy scouts compete with foie gras and Whoopi Goldberg?"
Really??? BOY SCOUTS?!?!?!? I suppose I should be somewhat encouraged if the biggest complaint they can manage to muster is about snubbing the Boy Scouts.
So, yeah…I sorta got what I expected from the Right…but today the bulk of my anger goes to a few voices on the Left.
You know…I don’t remember anyone bitching about the “dignity of the office” back when George and Laura Bush appeared on “The Dr. Phil Show”…and frankly, between “Dr. Phil” and “The View” (especially in its current incarnation with Whoopi in the host seat), it’s Dr. Phil’s Show that is FAR closer to Springer. I have NEVER seen Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar…or even Elizabeth Hasselbeck do a surprise reveal of paternity tests on “The View”…but on the other hand, that far more Springeresque thing has happened a number of times on Dr. Phil. So anyone who was NOT complaining about “the majesty of the office” when George and Laura were on with Phil needs to shut up about President Obama’s appearance on “The View.”
So, yeah…I’m annoyed with Rendell…but hey, he’s not my Governor, and so therefore not really my problem. However, as I used to have a lot of respect for the following individual due to the fact that he has made appearances and been a credited writer on (what I consider to be) one of the finest television shows ever made, “The West Wing” I’m deeply angry at, and disappointed in, Lawrence O’Donnell.
“Apparently President Barack Obama hopes that you took a little time today to enjoy The View because there he was, the first time a sitting President has ever visited a daytime 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 here. And in our number one story...the highlights as well as the inevitable question, why?”
Then O’Donnell said, “The show was taped yesterday touching on all the obvious subjects and it gave the President a chance to do what all Presidents do...criticize the media.”
Really? I heard President Obama say that “the things that the media may focus on are not necessarily the things that I focus on. I have to sign letters to parents of children who have been killed in Afghanistan.” Exactly what part of that does Mr. O’Donnell consider inaccurate or “critical” of the media? Saying that the Press and the Presidency focus on different things is not a “criticism,” it’s just a simple statement of fact.
Then I heard President Obama say, “"The fact of the matter is that the media culture right now loves conflict. And if there's a story about cooperation between the two parties, that story doesn't make the news. What makes the news is somebody who says something as outlandish or outrageous as possible.” Again, I find myself curious as to which aspect of that Mr. O’Donnell takes exception to, as I find it to be a completely accurate depiction of the media climate in the country today.
I also strongly disagree with O’Donnell’s characterization of the President broadening the blame of the media on the Shirley Sherrod matter, when what the President said was that a 24/7 media cycle generated a controversy and then a lot of people overreacted, including people in his own administration. That sounds like a completely accurate portrayal of the events that transpired…not about broadening blame.
O’Donnell even ridiculously questioned the wardrobe of the View hosts...wondering if there was "any significance" to the fact that “all of the co-hosts were dressed in black and/or white...hmmmm..." How completely ridiculous! What kind of racially charged statement was THAT supposed to be??
The only thing that O’Donnell said that I did not take serious exception to (because it's TRUE) was when he called the President "gracious" in discussing Chelsea Clinton's wedding.
I also take exception to Ms. Wagner’s characterization of war, health care and race issues as "the great themes of his presidency”…I feel that there are a number of “great themes” to the Presidency of Barack Obama and the trivialization of this administration is simply not what I’ve come to expect from MSNBC.
O’Donnell contemptuously asked, “Why, oh why did the President of the United States do "The View”?
I’ll tell you why, Lawrence…because thanks to the Right’s overwhelming voice (after all, they do scream the loudest) in the current media culture, he HAD to speak to the American people and try to remind them why they liked him in the first place and that most of the crap being spewed by the Right is just that…crap. And since I know that Mr. O'Donnell is savvy enough to know that, I find myself seriously questioning the motives behind his overt, and in my opinion groundless, criticism.
And frankly, I think it could have even had some good effect. After all, even Elizabeth Hasselbeck, whose right wing nuttery usually infuriates me, seems to have been thoroughly charmed. So much so that Joy Behar felt compelled to ask her on this morning’s recap segment, “Did we just turn you into a democrat?" In reply, Elizabeth said, "Let's hope..."
Yes, I do hope...for Elizabeth, and the rest of the Sarah Palin loving, tea party brigade, to come on over to the Light side and finally start to see this Presidency for what it REALLY is, rather than what the far right is working so hard to convince them that it is. Ahhh...the audacity of hope...
For Mr. O’Donnell, I just hope for him to learn the lesson that President Obama said that he hoped everyone would draw from the Sherrod matter…”let’s not assume the worst of other people”
To view the referenced episode of Countdown, go to: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/#38478869