When reporting about the White House and President Obama, the media stirs controversy wherever it can.
Let's start with the Affordable Care Act roll out, which admittedly had a few thumps at the beginning, but, even after besting its target goal of enrolling seven million citizens, it is still deemed fodder for strife and debate by the network prognosticators.
Nor are they satisfied that the economy has improved enormously since 2009, that the Iraq War participation has ended and that we are winding down involvement in Afghanistan and our troops will mostly be out by the end of the year.
You see, the media is never happy if things are getting better, so they aim to fan the flames with the president's GOP critics, who've been out to get him since day one and are never pleased with anything about him. This, even though the naysayers who'll do anything to win the 2014 election might live a little longer, while breathing a little easier with cleaner air and a healthier global environment as the new EPA systems requirements are gradually put in full force through 2030.
And while the jury is still out as to the integrity of the president's deal to trade Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a long-held POW, for five prominent Taliban operatives, the media honchos have even managed to find a topper to that story: the president was videotaped working out in a Polish gym.
Good God! Instead of commending the president for not imperiously evicting the peasants who were using the gym in the hotel where he was staying on his overseas trip, there is shock and dismay at the presumed breach of security displayed by an incompetent secret service detail.
How dare his protectors allow businessmen and other tourists who were innocently operating the exercise machines to continue doing so when the president made his entrance? And, worse, apparently one or more of these proletariat miscreants had the nerve to take pictures and videotaped some of the president's pumping and grinding, one even capturing an executive yawn.
It was a scandal reported by one and all. CNN's Anderson Cooper couldn't believe it and said he felt bad for the president, citing personal anecdotes of working out at a New York gym when people shot photos of him. Perhaps realizing that the son of Gloria Vanderbilt might sound elitist, Cooper quickly said that he approached the gawkers and said he'd be happy to take a photo with them, but would prefer that they not record his huffing and puffing.
Okay, that's his right, but the president is the president and is on view most of the time, whether it's Bill Clinton jogging or George W. Bush falling off a Segway, so Obama clearly knew what he was doing and approved of his calisthenics being surveyed by others. Perhaps he is in a zone much of the time and has learned to tune out the stares of others, which might well extend to office workers in the West Wing, who no doubt turn their heads as he walks down the corridor near their desks, even though they see him all the time.
As the secret service apparently explained to the news folks who asked, they can't tell people not to take pictures of the president, and, gee, it's not as if he were in the steam room buck naked. He was doing his thing, just a regular guy getting the kinks out of his neck after a long flight and a busy day meeting with world leaders, such as the new president of Ukraine. Also, he was probably mulling over what he was going to say to world leaders at the G-7 economic summit in Belgium and to the throngs gathered at Omaha Beach to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, where he might just run into the economic summit's newly exiled Vladimir Putin. I bet there'll be photos of that, too. Maybe some more images showing Putin grimacing next to the president. Interesting that the media never complained about their having taken impolitic photos of that.
If you don't like Obama's politics, he's fair game. But for being a mensch and not wanting to disrupt the schedules of others and being a good sport when they took photos and videos, hey, members of the media, was it that slow of a news day?
Michael Russnow's website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com
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