Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NYPost: On-the-air prez seems like endless 'infomercial'

I guess someone had to fill the void left by Billy Mays... although Obama strikes me as more of a Sham Wow guy.

WASHINGTON -- During his first eight months in office, President Obama has sat down for three times as many television interviews as his most recent two predecessors combined.

And with yesterday's run of the Sunday-morning news show circuit and tonight's airing of "Late Night with David Letterman," Obama continues to blaze through the media hotter than any political figure in modern history.

"He's turning the presidency into an infomercial," warned former White House speechwriter Matt Latimer. "It's not just damaging to the White House. It will also ultimately hurt President Obama's image as a fresh, non-Washington leader."

The media blitz has won Obama unprecedented wall-to-wall coverage in the mainstream media.

In the New York Times alone, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, the number of stories on the Obama administration that have appeared on the front page through mid-August of this year totaled 119,678 column inches. That's 9,973 column feet of Obama coverage on the Times front page alone.

But it is television that has been the most powerful draw for Obama.

In his five major appearances yesterday, Obama voiced skepticism about adding troops to Afghanistan, denied making a deal with Russia over missile defenses in Europe, and continued to push his government-run health-insurance program.

As of mid-August, Obama submitted to a total of 66 television interviews, dramatically outstripping his two predecessors, according to Martha Joynt Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project at Towson University in Maryland.

During the same period of their own presidencies, President George W. Bush gave 16 television interviews and President Bill Clinton gave just six.

Obama is also out-hustling his predecessors with the print media, giving 36 interviews with newspapers and magazines during his first seven months in office -- nearly doubling the numbers given by Bush and Clinton.


President Obama has appeared on TV over 3 times as much as Bush and Clinton combined

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