While Hurricane Irene slammed the East Coast over the weekend, right-wing media responded by criticizing President Obama, claiming that he "politicize[d]" Irene and that his hurricane briefings were nothing more than a "pathetic" "command center photo-op." This comes days after the right-wing media's latest bout of Obama Derangement Syndrome, when they absurdly attacked Obama for being on a golf course when the East Coast earthquake struck.
"Paparazzi President At Work": Right-Wing Media Respond To Obama's Hurricane Actions
Powerline: "How To Politicize A Hurricane." In an August 27 Powerline post, John Hinderaker wrote:
It remains to be seen whether Irene turns out to be the Comet Kohoutek of hurricanes, but President Obama is taking no chances. He posed for a photo-op today, pretending to have something to do with the potentially-severe weather event.
I'm sure it's a relief to everyone on the East Coast to know that Obama is personally directing hurricane response efforts. Never mind that he isn't competent to organize a Little League baseball team; today's charade obviously is a corollary of the Hurricane Katrina fiasco, in which America's mass media committed group malpractice, somehow managing to blame the inevitable consequences of a severe weather event, magnified by incompetent local authorities in New Orleans, on the Bush administration. Obama is setting the stage to receive praise, rather than blame, no matter what actually happens between now and when Hurricane Irene blows itself out. [Powerline, 8/27/11]
Hoft: "Fail. Yahoo Readers Not Very Impressed With Obama's Command Center Photo-Op." In an August 28 Gateway Pundit post titled, "Fail. Yahoo Readers Not Very Impressed With Obama's Command Center Photo-Op," Jim Hoft Wrote:
President Downgrade cut his vacation short to make an appearance at the Hurricane Command Center for a few pictures yesterday.
Apparently, not everyone was impressed with this obvious publicity stunt.
Here is a sampling of the comments from the Yahoo report:
[Gateway Pundit, 8/28/11]
Weasel Zippers: "Fearless Leader" Gives A "Pathetic Photo-Op." In an August 27 post to Weasel Zippers titled, "Fearless Leader 'Takes Charge' At Hurricane Command Center," a picture of Obama in the hurricane command included a caption reading, "More like a pathetic photo-op." [Weasel Zippers, 8/27/11]
Hoft: "Horray [Sic]!... Obama Takes Photos Charge At Hurrricane [Sic] Command Center." In an August 27 post titled, "Horray [Sic]!... Obama Takes Photos Charge At Hurrricane [Sic] Command Center," Hoft wrote:
Obama took photos charge at the Hurricane Command Center today.
That's not exactly a picture of confidence, huh?
Feel safe yet? [Gateway Pundit, 8/27/11]
Malkin: "Paparazzi President At Work." In an August 29 blog post titled, "Paparazzi President at work," Michelle Malkin posted numerous photos from the White House Flickr feed documenting the president's Hurricane Irene briefings. Malkin further wrote:
There's one employee of the White House -- other than the Teleprompter of the United States, that is -- who never gets a break.
His name is Pete Souza. He's the official presidential photographer. Last week, Souza was hard at work making President Obama look hard at work while vacationing on Martha's Vineyard.
Souza's Twitter feed and Flickr uploads serve as Agitprop Central for all White House-approved, Behind-The-Scenes Leadership Glamour Shots. Such visual hagiography is to be expected in any administration. But the hasty frequency with which the White House "Message: I'm working here, I'm really working here" photos have been disseminated over the past few weeks is striking. In fact, it's become a running joke now on Twitter.
Candid Camera or Taxpayer-funded Campaign Camera? You decide:
Hold the phone, America! President Obama's...holding a phone.
Judging from the latest Gallup numbers, voters are not impressed. Looks like overworked White House photog Pete Souza is going to have to step up the framing and gaming of the Paparazzi President. For all the daily attempts to manufacture images of competence, strength, decisive, and leadership, this is the stubborn perception Obama's stage managers can't shake:
Biden Derangement Syndrome? Right-Wing Media Highlight Biden Golfing Before Storm
Drudge: "Biden Golfed In Hours Preceding Hurricane..." From the Drudge Report on August 28:
[Drudge Report, 8/28/11]
Fox Nation: "Biden Golfed In Hours Preceding Hurricane." On August 28, Fox Nation posted an article by Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry titled, "Biden Golfed in Hours Preceding Hurricane":
Delaware was pounded by Hurricane Irene on Saturday night, but Vice President Biden got in one last round of golf in his home state before the heavy stuff started coming down, Fox News has learned.
Biden played golf at a Wilmington-area course on Saturday morning, according to two sources familiar with his schedule.
Obama Derangement Syndrome: Right-Wing Media Repeatedly Attack Obama For Trivial Reasons
Obama Derangement Syndrome: Earthquake Edition. Following an earthquake that struck the East Coast on August 23, right-wing media attacked Obama for being on a golf course during a family vacation when the earthquake struck. [Media Matters, 8/24/11]
Obama Derangement Syndrome: Michelle Obama Uses An iPod. Right-wing media figures highlighted a photograph of first lady Michelle Obama using headphones while in her husband's presence, writing that this signified that she "doesn't seem all that happy with the man she married 19 years ago." [Media Matters, 8/22/11; The Washington Times, via Media Matters, 8/29/11]
Obama Derangement Syndrome: Happy Meals. Following McDonald's decision to offer "more nutritionally-balanced" Happy Meals and Michelle Obama's praise of its move, the right-wing media jumped to attack McDonald's for supposedly bending to the will of the "fat police" and making Happy Meals "less happy." [Media Matters, 7/27/11]
Obama Derangement Syndrome: Dijon Mustard. In May 2009, conservative media attacked Obama as an elitist because he ordered a hamburger with Dijon mustard. [Media Matters, 5/7/09]
Obama Derangement Syndrome: The Color Purple. In March 2010, conservative blogger Pamela Geller incited outrage over Obama "Flying The Gangsta Colors At The White House: SEIU, The Color Purple." Geller went on to criticize Obama's purple tie color choice, despite the fact that Obama's tie appeared to be blue, not purple. [Media Matters, 3/26/10]
Obama Derangement Syndrome: Wal-Mart Healthy Foods Initiative. In January, right-wing media accused the Obama administration of threatening or "bullying" Wal-Mart when the company announced a healthy food initiative that would make "thousands of the packaged food items that it sells more healthful and affordable by 2015," according to The Washington Post. [Media Matters, 1/21/11]
Obama Derangement Syndrome: Latin America Jobs Trip. In March, the right-wing media attacked Obama's long-planned jobs trip to Latin America as a "vacation," even though the trip was focused on economic opportunities for the U.S. and trade relationships with Latin American nations. [Media Matters, 3/18/11]
Obama Derangement Syndrome: Children's Easter Egg Roll. Also in March, Fox & Friends attacked the White House Easter Egg Roll, a family event, for making the souvenir eggs more environmentally friendly and encouraging children to exercise. [Media Matters, 3/30/11]
Obama Derangement Syndrome: Osama Bin Laden's Death. In May, The Washington Times attacked Obama following the successful raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden, complaining that he golfed before the mission took place and that he "snub[bed] Bush" in his speech following bin Laden's death. [Media Matters, 5/3/11]