A game of connect the dots for you all.
The Politico internal memo from a little bit back:
Stories need to be both interesting and illuminating–we don’t have the luxury of running stories folks won’t click on or spend several minutes with in the paper.
a) Would this be a “most e-mailed” story?
b) Would I read this story if I hadn’t written it?
c) Would my mother read this story?
d) Will a blogger be inspired to post on this story?
e) Might an investor buy or sell a stock based on this story?
f) Would a specialist learn something from this story?
g) Will my competitors be forced to follow this?
IN MOST CASES, THE ANSWER WILL BE “YES” TO SEVERAL OF THESE QUESTIONS IF THIS IS A STRONG POLITICO STORY. If you are not certain that several of these are “yes,” you can reframe your reporting and analysis so people will say, “POLITICO is reporting…” or “The way POLITICO put it is…”
If your friends or source are buzzing about something related in any way to public affairs, don’t ask yourself WHETHER it’s a Politico story. Ask yourself HOW you can make it a Politico story, to capture built-in traffic and mindshare.
What the Politico took away from the expansive 60 Minutes interview:
His remarks came in a“60 Minutes” interview in which he was pressed by Steve Kroft for laughing and chuckling several times while discussing the perilous state of the world’s economy.
“You’re sitting here. And you’re— you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money—’ How do you deal with— I mean: explain. . .” Kroft asked at one point.
“Are you punch-drunk?” Kroft said.
“No, no. There’s gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day,” Obama said, with a laugh.
The blogospheric reaction:
The most read section at the Politico this morning:
If you watched the 60 Minutes interview and you think the most important part of it was the “punch drunk” portion, you are part of the problem.
USA Today is also running this.
Our media focuses on the important stuff!
I like having a leader who can laugh in the face of problems. It’s admirable and brave that he’s not hiding in a bunker under the WH in a defensive crouch, like most of the pants pissing Republicans would be.
Included in this group is every single person in the country who is paid to write about politics. Joy.
Wow. Watched the whole thing and honestly don’t even remember the "punch-drunk" line.
The other meme being floated is that Obama is having his "Katrina – Heckuva Job" moment, vis-a-vis Geithner. Frank Rich let that horse out of the barn yesterday morning, and, sensing a convenient excuse, the usual suspects are running with it.
I’m extremely critical of the way Obama/Geithner are handling the financial crisis, but I thought Obama (in terms of form) came off very well in the interview.
joe from Lowell
This is no different from the campaign. The Republicans flail around, pushing some non-scandal story, the press gives it a lot of attention for a day or two, and in a week, everybody has forgotten about the "scandal," while Obama’s workmanlike hammering home of his message remains.
ZOMG, should Obama suspend his campaign, too?
that’s an awfully long-winded way for politico to say ‘if it bleeds it leads’.
A related point is that, pretty much during his entire presidency, Bush gave very few press conferences, let alone interviews.
don’t link to Politico.
Then why jump in on it, John? How about this instead: Did Obama Accuse Dick Cheney Of Torture?
That fucking maggot Joe Scarborough and his butt buddy Willie Geist started right out the gate with the "punch-drunk" and "inappropriate laughter" meme at 6AM.
What a sorry excuse for journalism we have in this country. But, when you look at the "journalism" in most checkout lines at stores, then it is little wonder that even serious "journalists" glom on to bullshit and push it. But hey, that’s what happens when a substantial portion of the populace are fucking idiots.
This is nothing new. The business side of things have always influenced news reporting to some degree.
How much an organization allows the business end to drive things is directly related to the credibility of that company.
I like my news in short, digestible bites. Preferably with colored charts and lots of pictures. Relevance is optional.
All we now need is a Rasmussen poll and the circle jerk is complete.
@WyldPirate: Isn’t this all about, "Whoever wakes up and types about it first sets the agenda for the day?"
Did Drudge have this first thing this morning? Or Michael Calderone? Or J-Mart? Or Mark Halperin? All are early risers (or late to bed), and Joe’s Morning Zoo Crew always dutifully picks up the morning talking points and gets them out there to the viewing masses. That show was a bit of a kick during the election, but ever since, their dose of Morning Poison isn’t the way I like to start my day. :-)
@JenJen: That’s because someone was punch drunk with their standings you-know-where.
Politico’s Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen are ball-drunk from all of the GOP and corporate balls that are hitting them on the face as they endlessly fluff their political and coprorate benefactors.
h) Did Drudge already run it?
I think you’re right, jenjen. Scarborough and his crew are definitely all about pushing the meme of the day.
What is so maddening is that the criticize Obama for "not doing enough", then it turns into "he’s doing too much" and it went from "he’s being too negative about the economy" to "he’s not being serious enough" and "punch-drunk".
I’m just sick to fucking death of the "journalists" having two sets of rules for the Dems and Rethugs.
@Laura W: Fair enough. I did, indeed, have many beers yesterday. :-)
The ONLY thing that matters is getting your story viewed by as many people as possible, getting your comments to the top of the page view. It MUST be sensationalist to achieve this, so… there ya go, done and done.
The 24 hour news cycle created this push, there is too much time and not enough news that people are actually interested in. Political "gaffes" seem to be the most news worthy item on the entire planet, sad to say.
@WyldPirate: As long as "journalists" use the Cavuto Mark, it doesn’t matter what they say. Obama Being Too Serious…? Obama Not Being Serious Enough…? Obama Doing Too Much…? Obama Not Doing Enough…? Obama is Actually Xenu…?
For me the most shameful moment of Bush’s entire presidency was him crawling under his desk looking for weapons of mass destruction.
How these jerks give GW Bush a pass on his immoral mocking of the sacrifice and death of 1,000’s of our soldiers in an illegal war undertaken on knowingly falsified intelligence, then turn around and try to claim Obama is the first president to use a teleprompter, or try to make an issue of his demeanor during this interview, makes me wonder how these right wing journalists and fellow travelers even bear to look at themselves in the mirror every morning without heaving and retching into the sink.
They disgust me.
Add in media types Tweeting and you have the completion of the race to the bottom…
well since Obama refused to join the fun at the gridiron dinner there must be something wrong with him./ snark
more seriously though–this is why I never trust any version of anything coming from the masters of the narrative. I go to the source and make up my own mind. These idiots live in their own world where nothing matters but their own egos.
Davis X. Machina
Shorter MSM: There are certain ‘necessities’ you need to have to be a manager or head coach, and President is no different.
@WyldPirate: You forgot to add: "The optics are bad" in ref. to his Leno appearance.
Credit where due.
Edit: "Obama’s Leno optics bad?" as per #23
I didn’t think it was boring at all. I thought he went after Cheney methodically, beginning with specifics on prosecution (lack of) and then to broad strokes. I was a little surprised. Pleased, but surprised. Obama never went to "radical neocon plan" during the campaign. Edwards did, but Obama didn’t. He did last night on Sixty Minutes. I thought that was really interesting. It’s on. Oh, good. Let’s talk about that, President Obama. By all means.
The Moar You Know
You keep on using the word "journalism" when the word you mean to use is "propaganda". Knock it off, it’s really annoying.
I actually think the most important part of the 60 Minutes interview was the part where President Obama came pretty damn close to accusing Dick Cheney of torture.
That takes me back. I watched the first Presidential debate between Bush and Gore and went to bed thinking the Republican candidate had revealed himself to be light weight, completely unqualified for the office of the presidency of the United States, and woke up to find the big story was how insufferable Gore’s sight’s were. A war fought under false pretenses with hundreds of thousands dead and a shattered economy and nothing has changed. Well, at least not for these people.
And if you didn’t watch it, too bad. This is all you’ll be hearing about for the rest of the news cycle. Suck it, information consumers, bwhahahahaha!
I wish that were always an option. I don’t have time to sit through every Obama interview someone wants to bitch about.
I barely, if at all, remember the laughing/punch drunk segment, other than that it made me rather annoyed with Krofft.
What I remember is how President Obama gracefully and with great dignity destroyed Cheney on both moral and pragmatic grounds. I was never more convinced that we elected the right man.
I still vigorously disagree with the way he is handling the economy, but I have no doubt whatever he is the man I want in the White House. And I will never type his last name without his title in front of it.
I know, right?
Why is everyone hatin’ on the President just because he laughed like a carnival clown?
It’s not like people are losing their homes and shit. Or are afraid of losing their job — if they still have one.
Lighten up, wingnuts! Laughter is the best medicine, so swallow whole Obama’s bottle of anti-Recession Tonic. You’ll feel better in no time, your warts will be cured, and if you’re balding your hair will start growing back faster than you can say Porkulus!
Mmm… snake oil is just soooo tasty.
I thought that was great.
I watch too much of this stuff. I knew the minute he laughed that was going to be the story. Distraction! Thank goodness.
Better "Obama chuckles too much" than talking about whatever wacko Federalist Society legal theory Cheney was operating under, right? That’s, um, scary to contemplate. Best to concentrate on why President Obama finds stupid questions funny.
Of course, you writing a post about it just contributes to it. And me responding to your post also contributes. That’s the "aaarrrggghhh!" part of this phenomena.
No, he is not punch-drunk. he is giddy at the thought of social change. It is no secret academics and those involved with community organization want to create social equality not by raising everyone higher, but by bringing down the wealthy. For many of them, they have a chip on their shoulder. They view wealth as evil–and this includes anyone making comfortable in the eyes of the poorest. They think by bringing down the rich, they will even the playing field so all can get ahead. The problem is, the top 3% of wealth earners shoulder 90% of the taxes (depending on the state/city) so by destroying them you destroy the economy. At that point everyone is equal and must rely upon the government. It’s one way to bring about social equality and change. While everyone will be provided for (minimal), freedom to choose is gone and the freedom to learn from the consequences of your mistakes to make your self better is also removed. For this reason socialism never produces great nations because the fact is pain and discomfort is really weakness leaving the body or society.
Or, Yes, if punch drunk means you have been hit more than you can rationally take so you laugh as your last-resort defense mechanism. This is a man that is in over his head. Remember, Obama has never run a business, has no prior executive experience, spent most of his life in academia and then as a community organizer where the prevailing philosophy is business has destroyed the life of those in poverty. In short he is in over his head, he is the quintessential political virgin, the 46 year-old political virgin
When you can be paid a lot of money, or get a lot of page hits, for regurgitating Republican talking points, cribbing from Drudge, gathering the low-hanging fruit, creating false equivalence or lying without retraction, there’s no incentive to apply thoughtful analysis or to do in-depth reporting. The media has been facile and addicted to trivia for so long that it couldn’t change now even it wanted to.
@Love: You should get laid.
Yeah, what we need is an MBA President.
@Dennis-SGMM: Governors are always the best. Preferably governors of large states. Hmmm, it might also be good if said president has been in the oil business for a while, since we have so many problems in that area.
@Atanarjuat: Here’s what you’re missing: Nobody’s hatin’ on the President.
Lame. Unfortunately didn’t see that 60 Minutes, but played the clip at the link.
Actually, his having a little “gallows humor” and having a laugh gives me more confidence he can deal with the situation, not less. As he said, it can get you through the day and keep you focused.
When I did SERE training at that vacation retreat, Camp Mackall, part of the fun was I became a personal hotel for the local tick and chigger population. Pretty much reached capacity. At one point looking at a few thought “If I see these bastards pull out to look for a healthier host, then I need to worry.” Got a laugh, relieved the stress, and kept focused.
So if Obama said he was a daily puddle of sweat and crying tears over the economic crisis and other issues, that would have given more confidence?
Speaking of being part of the problem, is it too much to ask for a substantive post on something other than the financial crisis and its latest attendant rumors? By even just one of the front-pagers here? Surely there’s something else to talk about — how’s that winding down the war in Iraq going?, how will the Army setting gears in motion to end stop-loss affect operations in Afghanistan?, might Obama backing Holder’s decision to release the torture justification memos over some "intelligence" officers’ objections be another step toward building the public momentum for investigations of Bush administration officials?, what did folks think of Obama’s message to Iran?, so Cheney had assassination squads?
It would inspire more confidence if Obama just said "I hit a perfect trifecta." That’s what real presidents do.
Shorter "Love": Obama is a Communist.
If Politico is such a joke that uses manipulation and sensationalism to get people to read them, why do you keep linking to them?
As a blogger for a really popular site, it seems to me that you are making Politico possible. If you can’t stop linking to them, then maybe they aren’t so irrelevant after all.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
What he said.
Actually, I would prefer to believe that Hannity, Levin, et al do exactly that. Look in the mirror. Weep. Retch. Then, through massive doses of Xanax and magic mushrooms, are able to go out for another day of poisoning the well.
Love can I have just a little bit of whatever youre smoking? That must be some GOOD shit.
Wingnuts are really just mad because President Obama makes it look so easy while Bush made it look so hard. Of course Bush was a bumbling idiot that they voted for twice so really they should just be looking in the mirror.
don’t READ Politico.
Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon)
As I watch billions get shoveled into the pockets of those who wrecked the world, I weep for this inexcusable "bringing down" of the wealthy. Damn those "community organizations"! Who knew they had such awesome power?
There’s a LOT of things our resident goat-fucker is missing. This isn’t even at the top of the list.
Wouldn’t they have gotten the mileage they were after by going with the segment where Obama refuted Cheney’s approach to terrorism:
such as: "Obama Calls Cheney a Failure" or "Obama Blames Cheney for Global Terrorism" also.
…or some other bar brawl type of headline. Everybody hates Cheney and would love to see the two of them in a cage match. No?
As if Kroft would have dared push Bush like that. Fuck you, Steve.
That’s pretty rich…I don’t think the word "explain" was allowed by the AP Style Book or the FCC since 2000.
The post makes the point nicely, John, but I remain struck by a bit of the original memo – "mindshare". WTF???
I found Kroft insufferable and self important. I wouldn’t have blamed the president had he rolled his eyes, sighed, or swore a time or two during the interview.
Well that’s good to know, JenJen. That can only mean that all the Obama posts on hotair.com, redstate.com, and riehlworld.com are regarded by liberals as serious and thoughtful cricitism of the President — certainly not hatin’.
What a startling revelation!
I would like to cock-punch Joe Scarborough, while drunk.
Perhaps a new tag is needed: "Can’t watch the media while sober"
@Atanarjuat:But… but… you said "everyone."
"Are you explaining complex issues that affect peoples lives in a way that’s so lucid yours is story people discuss?" would have covered it. But that would be asking for quality journalism, and who wants to bother with that. Hacks
Kroft- “Are you punch-drunk?”
Obama- "LOL!, No, no, but I do bowl like a retard"
@dualdiagnosis: That made me laugh out loud.
(March 23rd, 2009 at 12:28 pm Rick Taylor)
Boy, I know what you mean! I remember thinking that Hillary was cleaning the floor with Obama back in the primary debates. I was floored when the tabloid press exalted him to messiah-like status, even though he stutters and stammers his way through most questions (or takes Hillary’s answers and re-works them to make them sound like they were original ideas).
Guess we know the truth about that now that Mr. TelePromTer himself admits he can’t talk his way out of a paper bag….
i read somewhere politico has a lobbying arm or they hire lobbyists. would be interesting to know who they were and which interests they’re tied to. might be helpful in discrediting them.
Teleprompter Jesus on the fritz again? Joking about Special Olympians, and chuckling about our economic woes? Well, let the beat down of Politico, I mean CNBC, I mean Hillary’s memory, I mean Sarah Palin’s infant begin. That baby has it in for us, destroy that baby’s reputation again now.
Never mind that MSNBC is our state controlled media, and 9 out of 10 journalists who donated gave to our guy. Don’t anybody point that out. Ruins the whole thing. It’s embarrassing to us, so keep quiet.
Teleprompter Jesus malfunctioned in front of everybody, we must find memos that show the media that got our candidate elected and supported him financially wants to be watched and read. And perhaps a star map to Steve Kroft and Joe the Plumber’s houses. Some deranged fans may finish the job we start for us. In fact, we’re so deranged about covering up our guy’s mistakes maybe we’ll do it. This is what we’re about folks. This is who we are, so get moving. It’s called unquestioning, fanatical devotion and nobody here wants out of Jonestown, do we?
The problem you’re faced with is that things like economics, public policy, international relations – this is hard stuff. This is tougher material than your average Sabbath Gasbag or cable yakker can handle. What they do understand is simple stuff – who’s up, who’s down, who’s banging the secretary and who said "fuck" into a hot mike at the day care center. The sort of "oooooooohhh" cluck-cluck hogwash normally associated with gossipy church ladies back in the old country.
So since that’s what these idiots can grasp, that’s what they push, because things like multiple-tranche credit default swaps make a one-inch crack in the skull of a Lauer-caliber intellect. And people who might not be that dumb look at the constant flood of this nonsense and after a while think that since that’s all they hammer, over and over, it must be important. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I still maintain that none of this would be happening if Ted Turner had simply shot dead the person who suggested that CNN go gavel-to-gavel on the OJ trial.
Seriously, who let you kids off your meds? Now get back to your rooms before you hurt yourselves or someone else.