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100 Days Of The Media's Trivial Pursuit

05/29/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The truth is, the Obama coverage has often featured a toxic combination of trivial pursuit mixed with a passion for process. The results have, at times, been gruesome, with the news media obsessing over White House iPods, and fashion "showdowns," and puppies, and soft drinks, and parking lots, and condoms, and hand gestures, and gaffes, and laughs, and celebrity magazines, and teleprompters, and rounds of golf, and sleeveless dresses, on and on. The list of press inanities has grown quite long in just 100 days.

It's been distressing to watch the emergence of the media's permanent -- preferred -- state of trivial pursuit and the suddenly open assumption that trivia, often in the name of process, is just as important and noteworthy as actual news.

More often than not, the press has spent its time wallowing in minutiae and pointless speculation. It has celebrated the mundane and chased after White House nonsense in a way I don't think we've ever seen before in modern American politics. And the tone of the coverage is without question unrecognizable when compared with the respectful media greeting Bush received during his first 100 days in office, when a blanket of calm seemed to descend on Beltway newsrooms and where a polite, distant tone for the White House was the accepted norm.

Read the entire Media Matters column here.

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