What's worse for a politician: not knowing the price of bread, or not having a favorite TV Show?
Journalists love playing gotcha with those bread/milk questions, knowing full well that few people working 16 hours a day and shuttling cross-country running for office rarely do their own grocery shopping. It's more like a pop quiz, with memorized answers, than any real revelation of how down they are with the common man's woes.
So while I'm for taking the bread question off the table, here's to those journalists who ask pop culture questions. Pop culture unites us. Pop culture divides us. Most importantly, it gives us a reading on the candidate that position papers never will.
The major candidates recently revealed their favorite TV shows. Read here.
Here's what Sen. Obama answered: "Other than the U.S. Senate on C-SPAN? I don't watch them too often."
Are you serious?
We get that you're busy. But at least you could have acted yearnful, as in, well, if I had the time, I'd watch The Sopranos. Or The Wire. Or Girlfriends. (I don't know, surprise us.)
Here's a chance to be playful and Sen. Obama blows it. And since Sen. Obama seems to be pacing himself these days, he should seize on these easy opportunities to shine. This softball-yet-serious question is a golden chance to make connections with people on a gut level. I'm a rabid American Idol fan, and now, I just might look at Mitt Romney a little differently because we share this show in common; it's like, wow, he likes something that I happen to be passionate about. Doesn't mean I'm going to vote Republican, but a detail like this (well, depends on who he likes on AI -- he was smart not to divulge) makes him a bit more three-dimensional, something every candidate, and human being, should want to be.
This is not to diminish the seriousness of one's answers to such questions: they will be psycho-analyzed like crazy. Just like the best (or worst) picked ropeline music, they become part of the story. Clearly, best-selling author Sen. Obama is not afraid of the process. So here's to him answering the question next time he's asked!
UPDATE: Thank you, AsaNisMasa, I stand corrected. The question was about reality TV shows in particular. Still, he could have said something. Or he could have stood up for hungry comedy/drama writers put out of work by the reality show craze...
Follow Stacy Parker Le Melle on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stacylemelle