Monday, June 1, 2009

All the President's Lunches

So, President Obama made his second trip out for burgers last week, this time bringing along NBC news anchor Brian Williams and a crew of NBC's camera guys et. al. who were there filming a two-hour special of the "Day in the Life of the President" sort (remember all those when Bush and Clinton were in office? Me neither).
Rival CBS had this to say:
It’s not that President Obama can’t get a first-rate hamburger from one of the five chefs in the White House kitchens, but we’re told he likes getting out of this building he fought so fiercely to occupy.

And so, for the second time this month, Mr. Obama went out for a lunch of burgers and fries. He fired up the motorcade and drove a couple of miles into southeast D.C. to a Five Guys restaurant near Nationals’ Stadium.

This time, he didn’t take Vice President Biden along. Instead, he was accompanied by NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who was at the White House today taping elements for his two-part hour-long prime time specials on a day-in-the-life the president.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs pooh-poohed a reporter’s suggestion that today’s burger outing was staged principally for the benefit of NBC’s cameras.

“I can assure you it was done simply for the benefit of the appetite of the Commander-in-Chief,” he said.

Don’t believe it. NBC had its own camera van in the motorcade and another camera on a boom to get a moving high-shot of the president’s limo pulling away on the South Lawn.

The visit to the burger joint provided just the kind of pictures the White House wants people to see about the president’s life.
I don't recall any CBS reporters complaining about the first Obama burger run, which included a press pool (but not, of course, the opportunity for one rival network to score some video which will undoubtedly do well in their special report).

A lot of people are covering Obama's supposed "gaffe" involving the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and reported by Ben Smith at Politico, but to those conservatives who say that during a Republican administration a similar slip by a President would be covered in blaring headlines, I have to say that I disagree. I think the press would be too busy crafting headlines that read "How much do presidential burger runs really cost the nation?" and "President eats beef while economy burns," and maybe "Second snub to White House chef in same month," or "Presidents and weight gain--will he be the next William Howard Taft?" to worry too much about the very human reality that a president in his first year in office might not know what each branch of his intelligence agency does on a daily basis.

The first family's forays into the fast-food firms of DC may make for entertaining human-interest stories adorning the virtual pages of our purely objective press. I just wish they'd spend more time reporting on the smorgasbord of domestic and international issues which continue to heat up, instead of passing along breathlessly the information that the President went out--again!--for a burger, and then expecting us to tune in later to find out if he had fries with that.

It could be worse. The media could be spending all their time breathlessly reporting on the First Couple's recent dinner date to NYC. Oh, wait...

Why do I get the feeling that if the Tiller story hadn't broken yesterday, we'd still be reading solemn stories about how the President just had to keep his campaign promise to take Michelle out for dinner and a Broadway show? Gee, first the girls get a dog, now Michelle gets a whirlwind (taxpayer funded) trip to the Big Apple--how many more campaign promises did President Obama make to members of his immediate family, I wonder?

1 comment:

Maggie said...

With all these hamburgers, he's going to stop be so darn skinny someday soon.

unless they're veggie burgers. I wouldn't be surprised.