Predictable: Right-Wing Media Find SOTU "Boring"

››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN & MELODY JOHNSON

Following President Obama's State of the Union address, right-wing media predictably declared his speech speech "boring," "dull," and "flat" -- terms they have consistently used to describe most speeches Obama has given in the past two years.

Right-Wing Media Declare Obama's SOTU "Boring," Dull," "Flat"

Krauthammer: SOTU "Flat," "Uninspired." During Fox News' live coverage of the State of the Union, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said that although "this is a president who can give great speeches and has, this was not one of them. This, I think, was one of his weakest speeches. He tried hard, but it was a flat, I thought, uninspired [speech]." [Fox News' live SOTU coverage, 1/25/11, via Mediaite]

Powers: "It Was Somewhat Flat." During Fox News' live coverage following the speech, Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers referred to the "soaring oratory" of past State of the Union addresses and went on to agree with Krauthammer, referring to the speech as "somewhat flat." [Fox News' live SOTU coverage, 1/25/11, via Mediaite]

Power Line: "President Obama's Speech Tonight" Was "Boring And Pedestrian." Following Obama's address, Power Line's John Hinderaker called the speech "boring and pedestrian, the kind of State of the Union checklist that causes television sets to go off all across America. I thought the speech never developed any real momentum or consistency of theme." [Power Line, 1/25/11]

Fox Nation Declares Obama's Speech "Flat." A January 26 post on the Fox Nation titled, "Flat," included video of one of Republican pollster Frank Luntz's "focus groups" and declared:

"Flat." That was the verdict of some Fox News Channel analysts and Frank Luntz's less-than-impressed focus group on "Hannity" on President Obama's State of the Union Address. [Fox Nation, 1/26/11]

Hoft: "What A DEAD SPEECH." In addition to posting multiple links to the Fox Nation story calling Obama's speech "flat," conservative blogger Jim Hoft wrote, "DATE NIGHT FAIL- Diluting the Democrats Drowned Out the Applause. What a DEAD SPEECH. Good grief." [Gateway Pundit, 1/25/11, 1/25/11, 1/26/11]

Doocy: "I Thought It Was Dull ... [And] Kind Of Rambling And Boring As Well." While discussing the president's State of the Union speech during the January 26 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson said, "We were saying yesterday, why don't they just say something bold in this speech, because otherwise people start nodding off and it's just sort of the same sort of thing year after year." Co-host Steve Doocy responded by saying, "I'll be honest -- I thought it was dull. I thought it was kind of rambling and boring as well." [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 1/26/11]

Buchanan: "I Think It Was Very Flat. ... There Was Just Nothing That Was Very Memorable To Me." On the January 26 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan said that he thought the president's speech was "very flat" and said there was "nothing that was very memorable to me." From the broadcast:

BUCHANAN: Well, I think it was very flat, quite frankly. ... Even at Tucson with those kids, started responding, you can see this president responds to an audience. He draws from it, energy, but there seemed to be no energy, no inspiration. Frankly, I thought, is it me watching this thing? But you know, what came to mind was that phrase about Harding's speech, the army of pompous phrases marching across the landscape in search of an idea. I mean, really, there was just nothing much that was very memorable to me. Except, I'll tell you what was terrific, was at the end when he talked about that fellow with that business up there that got together and built that thing, and sent it down to Chile, and then came out of there without taking any credit. That was very American. But you know, I expected it to be much more uplifting, and it simply wasn't. It seemed endless. [MSNBC's Morning Joe, 1/26/11]

Rove: "President Obama [Was] Diffused, Flat, Sort Of Wandered Around." On the January 26 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer invited Fox News contributor Karl Rove to comment on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) response to Obama's speech. Rove claimed that Ryan had "a candid, adult-like conversation with the American people" while Obama was "diffused, flat, [and] sort of wandered around." From the broadcast:

HEMMER: If you listened to Ryan's speech, he really said one thing, and that was if we do not save ourselves now, this debt's going to drown us. How did you view his response?

ROVE: Yeah. Well, I thought it was an effective response. His speech was one-quarter the length of President Obama's, and yet Paul Ryan devoted half again as many words to the deficit and debt and spending then did President Obama, and I thought it was -- you're right, he had a singular message. He had to say, you know, introduce himself, he had to -- he made very gracious comments about Congresswoman Giffords -- but the vast bulk of the speech, 55 percent of the speech, was devoted to one subject and one subject only. And I thought it was a tale of two speeches; President Obama diffused, flat, sort of wandered around, and Ryan, in a candid, adult-like conversation with the American people, focused on one issue -- what this deficit and debt and spending is going to do to our country. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 1/26/11]

Right-Wing Media Have A History Of Claiming Obama's Speeches Are "Boring"

O'Reilly Complains That Obama Was A "Boring Professor" During Iraq Speech. On the August 31, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly complained that Obama was "the boring professor" during his speech in which he declared the end of combat operations in Iraq. [The O'Reilly Factor, 8/31/10]

Right-Wing Media Declare Health Care Summit Was "Boring." Following Obama's February 2010 health care summit with congressional leaders, numerous right-wing media figures and outlets declared that the summit was "staggeringly boring," "boring as sand," and a "snorefest." [Media Matters, 2/25/10]

LA Times Blogger Malcolm: "Professor Barack Obama" Gave "Anticlimactic," "Droning," "Somber" Speech On Stimulus. Following Obama's second nationally televised news conference, Los Angeles Times blogger Andrew Malcolm declared in a post on March 25, 2009:

Tuesday morning The Ticket examined the White House's current political strategy and asked the question of who would show up at Barack Obama's second nationally televised news conference that evening: the president or the senator?

The answer: Neither.

Professor Barack Obama showed up.

And if you remember one of those required college lecture courses in the large auditorium at 8:10 a.m., listening to a droning don, and how it felt, slumped in the cushy seats having skipped breakfast for an extra 13 minutes of ZZZZs.

[...]

True, Obama created real problems in his first national news conference by promising Geithner would deliver too much the next day. And when the inarticulate bureaucrat didn't, the markets plummeted.

But this news conference seemed anticlimactic. (See video below.) At times the president appeared to be mailing in his delivery.

[...]

The result for anyone who stayed for the entire presentation was another lengthy, somber less-than-animated sales pitch on the need to spend trillions to jump-start the economy, which he sees promising signs of already at least with one Pennsylvania company (though still not yet Caterpillar), and how we're going to somehow move from an era of spending and greed to an era of savings by spending so much we're gonna double or maybe triple the national debt by the time a two-term Obama would be two years into improving his retirement bowling at Sun City. [Top of the Ticket, latimes.com, 3/25/09]

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