Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Tabloidization of Michelle Obama

Just as Condoleezza Rice made a splash in Europe with her boots, MIchelle Obama is making a news with bare arms and -- gasp! the salts! -- hugging a queen. Obviously, Rice had fun amid her prevarications about Iraq and Obama decided to play with the hand she was dealt.

Does anyone remember what Rice, no dummy by any standard, had substantively to say and how she fell short of her oath of office? Has anyone remembered that Obama -- who did not run and was not elected -- is a lawyer with training and experience every bit as rigorous as her husband?

Why are people discussing Obama's looks and manners when the world is beyond the brink of disaster?

Perhaps it is that the powers that be, who own the "news" media, don't want anyone to be thinking, lest they realize how badly they have been shafted. Perhaps we are all too lazy or lobotomized to rub those two brain cells we've got left.

The G-20 meeting was important but essentially secret. Why was there no questioning of how come those democratically elected heads of governments were keeping secrets from their electorates?

We, the public, owe it to ourselves not to feed on lazy, tabloid journalism.


Geneviève said...

"No questioning"? There were thousands of altermondialists persons demonstrating in London before and during the G20, and the same at Strasbourg a couple of days later for the meeting of NATO. Maybe just a weak voice in the desert. How do you say? "Sticks and stones"?

Geneviève said...

I was told that the expression "sticks and stones" does not fit here. For the ones who had not understand what I meant, I meant that the demonstrations are useless, as if their words were as empty as the wind and noone listen to them.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It's a sad commentary that as you say, Michelle Obama is an intelligent, capable professional woman but the press persists in focusing only on her youthful attractiveness. I recently saw an article with photos comparing her with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and querying readers as to which of the first ladies had the better fashion sense. (Both of them looked unhappy.) What utter nonsense.

Cecilieaux said...

Geneviève, the questioning I meant is at the level of public discourse.

Any European young student can take of school for a day to meet young women while expressing opposition to globalization and recession. We did it here before during the Vietnam War and you can see how that ended all wars, right?

But at the level of pundits and policymakers, the ones who make the decisions or influence them, there's a careful tiptoeing around the serious issues.

In English, "sticks and stones" comes from an old playground ditty "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." It is what someone says to someone who is insulting you, to show that their insults are absurd.

HeartinSF, I agree with you. But I wouldn't cut Carla Bruni quite so much slack: she was a model, her songs play up her come hither voice and clearly she courted someone who was in the limelight to get a lion's share of it. Carla and Nicholas deserve one another.

But Michelle Obama, I betcha she's quietly keeping us all prouder of our president and safer from cockamamie ideas. She's got the brains for it.

Anne said...

I've never bought a tabloid in my life, but I admit to getting a kick out of blazoned headlines such as the NY Post's; "ROYALTY! & Mrs. Windsor too!"

Pages such as this are my Sunday funnies equivalent....light-hearted amusement.

I think some of us who are pro-Obama are delighting in the fact that in these two people we have (for the moment anyway) the whole ball of wax in their brains and beauty. It's spring & we are a bit happier, maybe even giddy with the possibilities.