Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain...

Michelle Obama is everywhere in the media. The reason? Her clothes. But...surely Laura Bush wore clothes, didn't she? Well, if she did, the media certainly didn't notice...

Let us examine the media's fanatical coverage of Michelle Obama's first European tour today to the media's coverage of Laura Bush's first European tour back in 2001. Two First Ladies. Two trips to Europe. Two different political parties...

The Democrat, Michelle Obama's European Media Coverage: A pile of magazine covers, including an invitation to pose for the cover of iconic Vogue; fashion correspondents being brought in to talk on news shows about the effect Michelle's tour will have on Europe (like those comedians who are paid to whip an audience into a lather before a live TV taping); a slew of internet slide shows documenting her wardrobe (which consists of, um, simple a-line skirts and cardigans...what am I missing?); the press using Tiger-Beat-style, hyperbolic phrases, like: "introducing style and glamour to London" and "fashion icon" (again: a-line skirts and cardigans...?!); and top news agencies running frequent fashion updates, like this from the hard-hitting CNN: "Forget the G-20, What are the Spouses Wearing?" Um...huh?

Plus, my personal favorites: an article gushing over the press' comparison of Michelle Obama to Jackie Kennedy (the press? need I say more?), and the repeated bragging over Mrs. Obama's 76% approval rating. (Laura's started at 77% - going up as far as 80% - and ending on 78% when in Office).

Interestingly, these same articles are conspicuously quick to brush past Barack Obama's falling approval rating (below 60%). Which, intelligent minds might start to realize, might explain the sudden media-obsession with the First Lady's clothing labels and upper arms. (Aha... Smoke and mirrors! Clever, clever.)

The Republican, Laura Bush's European Media Coverage
: Um... Uh... Well, it was 2001. Did they have magazines back in 2001? Oh. They did? archived headlines or stories showing up. Well, there is this mention of Mrs. Bush's name three paragraphs into a story of George W.'s "tricky first international trip." But, uh, no fashion critiques. Nothing about her color palette. Hmm. (Well, to be fair, there were larger global crises going on during the Bushs' first trip to Europe; the world couldn't be distracted by fashion when things were falling apart here in the U.S. and abroad. It would have seemed silly - or REALLY suspicious - to talk about Laura's fashion with so many other concerns in the world...)

Media, Media, Media. Are you kidding me right now? This isn't even subtle. I mean, you've done some pretty sneaky, shady things before. But this... this is almost like you're trying to get caught.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you a 30 minute TIME OUT for this one, Media. Which will mean missing some of your lunch recess, too. But I want you to use that time to reflect (once again) on impartiality. Fairness. Equal coverage. And Laura Bush's favorite designers.

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