Monday, April 27, 2009

President Turned Celebrity

Welcome the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, now turned celebrity. My thoughts on this have been brewing since his inauguration, but in the light of his new dog, I thought now was a good a time than any to bring up my thoughts on [insert sarcastic expression here] President Barack Obama and how the worldwide media has used him as a brand name as opposed to a political leader.

I am aware, that Barack Obama has never sold anything with his name on it, so in the most-direct interpretation of the term brand name his title still remains president, but in terms of the family name Obama, this doesn’t particularly mean that others haven’t cashed in on it themselves. With the explosive force of an African-American man that off course has an ancestry of slavery becoming the first black American President in mind, not to mention the refined and articulate family man that is behind the presidency, the name was spoken about like there were water coolers on every corner, not only in the United States but everywhere, in other words, no matter which country you resided in, if Obama’s name wasn’t being mentioned, it was just about to burst from somebody’s lips. In his popularity, the media sees Obama as the shaft and balls of a pile of cash, and they have sucked hard, because after all, the media in the simplest of terms is a business and who can blame them for doing good business.

As a consequence of the media’s actions, I fear that the image of President is being a little smothered by an alternate image, the image of a dude who resides in the oval office running a country is getting lost among all of us. Personally, I feel comforted when I see Obama on the news actually speaking of something politically involved as opposed to him patting a dog, even if the political talk would still only be briefly shown once or twice and the dog would get a mention in every news update and a three-minute spot in the actual report of the day, which I know is absolutely ridiculous, just take a look for yourself here, and any search query will demonstrate how worldwide this news was. How can people dislike Obama when news about him that is only fit for Twitter becomes a massive news story? How can the President be seen as the president if he and his family are on the front of a clit-literature magazine? (I realise that the cover below is not one of the said magazines, but it was the closest I could come to one that was sold here in Australia) I rhetorically ask these questions because as long as journalists report his and his family’s movements like he is Paris Hilton, the seriousness of his image in people’s minds will further disintegrate into the air that all the na├»ve and ignorant of this world take deep breaths of.

Let’s not generalise my point, though, I am not saying that all of a political leader’s personal life should remain out of the newsroom, examples of things that are appropriate would be Obama’s grandmother dying on the eve of his election win, because she raised him, ironically, the media did not cover this enough; if you’re a tech-junky, his phone’s features; the changes he makes behind the doors of The White House, this could, although loosely, reflect on the way he governs; anything personal is fine, as long as it holds relevancy. I would also add that I even see the romantic goings-on between Bill Clinton and Monika Lewinsky as news, a womanising president? That is huge news!

Obama is a president, not some brainless star that you should love on the mere fact that he got a cute dog and looks after his body, he should be appreciated for making the changes he has in his first a hundred days, bringing hope to the world, intelligence to our ears; so, don’t base your opinions on the person that the celebrity-obsessed media has manufactured onto our screens, base it on the substance that makes him a president.


  1. if you unfocus your eyes, the first mag cover looks like it says WASHINGTONMAN

  2. I actually thought that's what it said until you pointed that out Michelle.

    Good job Ryan. When the american presidential election is based on the popularity of the person more than what they stand for, we are at step one of the world falling to its knees. Look out for Oprah becoming the first women president.

  3. haha i thought it said washingtonman lol
    nah i agree if i heard one more time on the news about the dog they got i was going to throw my tv!

  4. It's the JFK situation all over again. A new president and his young family move into the white house promising change for the nation and the globe..yet there's more media attention on 'who the first lady is wearing' as opposed to the political issues present.

    In saying that though, i believe we're still in the "honeymoon period" of the Obama presidency- we're yet to see the real results of his actions so there isn't too much opinions on the subjects (negative or otherwise)

    Any way you look at it though, you're right. The media's just doing what it does best: riding on the tailcoats of whatever is 'new' in an attempt to make some $. What's worse is that most people seem to be only too happy to be swept up in the hype.

  5. @Michelle You're right! I am also glad that this is what you took away from his =D

    @Ness Definitely, there is an equivalency here; however, Oprah is old enough to be the Queen, she has skipped Presidency completely.

    @elise You and me both; television, computer, the whole nine yards was going straight out mine.

    @Carla It would seem so.

    I like that idea of the 'honeymoon period' and I can understand that there will be a time where there will be less happy-snaps of 'Bo' Obama and more of Barack Obama's slip-ups.

    And yes, my point exactly, Obama is and probably has been completely unappreciated as a president and more as a hype.

    Thanks for your thoughts guys.