So, for weeks and weeks and weeks, the White House has been inundated with a clarion call from the media: "Why have you not fixed the economy yet? You better explain it soon! Oh My God, look at the Dow Jones! It falls, because of you, and your lack of a solution." So, President Barack Obama went on the Tonight Show, and did an interview with 60 Minutes, and will do another news conference tonight. These appearances will help Obama advance an explanation of his bank bailout program, and offer reporters a chance to publicly question the president. One would think that this would be a good thing. But NO! God, no! Doesn't Obama realize that he's risking over-exposure, with all the explaining and answering questions and being a public figure? How dare he?
That's the recent message that's been advancing through the press. After Obama appeared on a rival network's late night show, CBS's Chris Wragge was given to wonderment: "The Obama blitz, the President's appearing everywhere, but is his media tour taking attention away from his message?" Because clearly, the last thing a "message" needs is a series of sessions that allows it to be clearly elucidated!
No less a media figure than Meghan McCain -- who writes Daily Beast overshares about her dating life and who strategically leverages the reputations of better known conservative pundits for attention, masking it as an informed critique, and who briefly milked some body-snark outrage until it got boring -- thinks Obama is over-exposed, too, and she's available for live cable news hits to talk about it, if you want, talk to her people!
It's not a recent thing, either! Why, Steven Stark was worried about Obama's overexposure all the way back in early March:
Barack Obama is ubiquitous. In his first six weeks in office, he's given an inaugural address, a State of the Union-like speech to a joint-session of Congress (since new presidents don't really report on the state of the union), and an hour-long press conference. He's also made several campaign trips and has been a daily fixture on magazine covers and the news shows. He's talking to us all the time.
Yes, he's an intriguing and appealing figure. But you don't have to go out on a limb to surmise that he may be risking overexposure -- which often leads to failure.
That makes total sense! What is with all of these public appearances and opportunities to hold the White House accountable? Why does Obama keep forcing people to put him on the cover of their magazines? Obama needs to stop risking failure through overexposure! Naturally, once he does, everyone can complain about how he's risking failure through a lack of transparency.
But what does Mike Lupica think about all of this?
Sometimes, though, it seems the bubble is about to burst, and that he is about to become the first American President to suffer from overexposure before his first 100 days are up, that he is trying way too hard. Lately, he leaves the impression that he is on television more than Chris Matthews.
Okay! That's what Mike Lupica, a sports journalist from a canceled show on ESPN2 thinks about the phenomenon of "overexposure."
Interestingly, the public doesn't seem to share the opinion of these media meme-makers, as Chuck Todd and company note this morning:
The new polls out in the last few days all seem to agree on one thing: AIG has not hurt Obama personally. Instead, it has hurt Washington, Wall Street, and some views on the economic fixes -- but not the president. The lesson the White House will take from these polls? They aren't risking over-exposure; they probably believe that had the president NOT done this six-day media blitz, he would have been more singed on AIG than he was. But he was out there talking all week about it and wasn't hunkered down at the White House. Look back at this last week and realize this will be a lesson the Obama White House learns.
I think the real issue here is that the media is counting on Obama to continue to pay off according to the "Franklin Mint Model," and all this product he's putting on the street is really threatening to dilute the value of everyone's "FIRST ONE HUNDRED DAYS" commemorative editions. What an attention whore!
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