Commentary Magazine


Obama: The Reality Show

President Obama may be wearing out his welcome in prime time television, or so hinted the Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes yesterday.  Obama’s decision to hold a news conference marking his 100th day in office Wednesday will cost networks around $10 million in lost ad revenue-right in the middle of the May sweeps.  Noted de Moraes:

In fact, this makes the fourth time in three months Obama has preempted prime time to take his message directly to the people. Obama took over the 8 o’clock hour for a news conference Monday, Feb. 9; he gave his Not Quite State of the Union Address at 9 on Feb. 24. And he staged another news conference in the 8 o’clock hour on March 24.

So, here’s a thought.  Why not just let Obama and family have its own reality TV show.  That way we could follow Bo’s housebreaking, Michelle’s gardening, and the girls’ lemonade stand in real time, rather than have to wait until the morning papers filled us in on the latest doings of the First Family. And the president’s adoring fans could watch him minute by minute as he flip-flopped on whether to prosecute former Bush administration officials who sanctioned rough treatment of terrorists. Maybe Frank Luntz could hook up viewers to weigh in with those gadgets that chart audience approval or disapproval as the president wrestles with the economy or what to do about Iranian nukes.

Think of what Obamadrama would mean: millions in ad revenues for the networks, unparalleled transparency in government, and maybe even a respite for those who are getting tired of seeing President Obama constantly on camera.  After all, if he had his own show, the president might quit running around the country giving meaningless speeches and holding press conferences every few days. And the reporters who accompany him now could stay home and do some real reporting for a change.