Thursday, July 17, 2008

Obama at the gym: Yet another reason to despise the media and their abominable coverage of the presidential race

By Michael J.W. Stickings

As if it weren't enough that some in the media are turning the election into a referendum on Obama, thereby sparing McCain anything resembling serious scrutiny, and that the media are generally:

-- holding Obama to a much higher standard than they are McCain, emphasizing Obama's nuanced policy shifts (and calling them opportunistic flip-flops) while letting McCain get away with flipping and flopping all over the place, pandering to different audiences, on issues like Iraq and immigration, and showing utter cluelessness on others, like health care and the economy;

-- regurgitating without qualification or explanation Republican smears of Obama (he's an opportunist, an elitist, an egotist, a terrorist-coddling closet Muslim, etc.); and

-- sensationalizing even the most minute aspects of the race, and especially everything having to do with Obama, portraying every incident, however insignificant, as some sort of scandal;

as if all that weren't enough, the media are now targeting Obama's exercise habits.

Yes, you read that correctly: exercise habits.

Reporting for ABC News's Political Radar blog, Sunlen Miller writes that "[w]hile Obama spent 91 minutes at a campaign event yesterday, the Illinois Senator spent a total of 188 minutes in the gym yesterday -- making three separate stops to Chicago gyms over the course of one day."

How is this news? It isn't. But Miller's reporting is, in a word, breathless, grasping for story where there isn't one and for sensationalism where there isn't any: "Obama left the East Bank Club at 9 pm last night. A mere 11 hours later he was back in the gym again on Thursday morning."


Bush gets away with being a workout maniac, and with chopping down trees and clearing brush and whatever the hell else he does at that ranch of his, and is celebrated for it (contra the Big Mac-stuffing Clinton), but Obama...

Well, there must be something wrong with him, what with this suspicious gym-related behaviour and all: "But for reporters following Senator Obama as he strolled in and out of gyms six times over the course of one day -- his multiple visits raised a few eyebrows -- with even a campaign aide cracking a smile as the third gym stop of the day was announced."

Uh-huh. Sure.

Maybe he just likes working out. And playing basketball. Maybe it's just time away from the media glare and the rigours of the campaign. Or maybe, smiles cracking, it's time for some out-of-sight campaign-related work. Given the ubiquity of the media these days, after all, the gym is one of the few places where he would have any privacy.

Next up: Brian Williams on Obama's latest bowel movement. Did it live up to expectations?

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  • What WILL "you people" do if Obama is elected, but, of course, nothing really changes? There MUST be some other country for you to go to. I mean, please, PLEASE leave! You're just SO boring and predictable. I could really write this shit for you. And who really wants Obama anyway? After all, he's been telling niggers how to behave! How condescending of him!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:06 PM  

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