by Locker Room contributor
When even the bigwigs in the mainstream media have had enough of the 44th president, it’s time to take note.
U.S. News editor-in-chief Mortimer Zuckerman is no Obama basher. (“Barack Obama was undoubtedly sincere in what he promised. …” “His oratorical skills were highlighted by the contrast with President Bush. …”) But Zuckerman’s latest column takes aim at Obama’s volume of media appearances:
In his first six months, he gave three times as many interviews as
George W. Bush, four times as many prime-time news conferences as Bill
Clinton, and more interviews than both combined: 93 for Obama and 61
for his two immediate predecessors. He appeared on five Sunday talk
shows on the same morning, followed the next day by David Letterman,
the first-ever presidential appearance on a nighttime comedy show. In
another week, he squeezed in addresses to the U.S. Climate Change
Summit, the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N. Security Council, and a
variety of press conferences.
His promiscuity on TV has made him seem as if he is still a
candidate instead of president and commander in chief. He?and his
advisers?have failed to appreciate that national TV speeches are best
reserved for those moments when the country faces a major crisis or a
war. Now he faces the iron law of diminishing novelty.
Despite this apparent accessibility, Obama’s reliance on a
teleprompter for flawless delivery made for boring and unemotional TV,
compounding his cerebral and unemotional style. He has seemed not close
but distant, not engaged but detached. Is it any wonder that the
mystique of his presidency has eroded so that fewer people have
listened to each successive foray? The columnist Richard Cohen wryly
observed that he won the Pulitzer Prize for being the only syndicated
columnist who did not have an exclusive interview with the president.