Posted by: ethurman | August 3, 2009

Howard Kurtz on the Airing of Obama’s News Conferences

Barack Obama is known for being a media favorite.  Throughout his campaign and in the start of his presidency he faced little media criticism.  However, the public’s interest in him may be dwindling.  This article explains the debate between network news channels and Rahm Emanuel over whether other not Obama’s news conferences should be broadcast in full.  Unfortunately, people aren’t all that interested in watching Obama answer a few question on policy issues so it is costly for the networks to give a prime time spot to Obama when they can rake in high rating with their normal shows.  As the article says, “If it’s not a big night for the networks [. . .] they put civic duty and pride first. But you don’t go up against ‘American Idol’ — not even Barack Obama.”  Although there may have been increased political interest at the start of Obama’s presidency, it is wearing off and people are ready for regular viewing.  I think it is important for people to have access to real political news if they want it so it seems harsh to simply not air the news conferences.  However, Kurtz makes the point that often times little of what is said at the conferences is interesting news.  The only reason people paid attention to the most recent one is be because of Obama’s remarks about the Cambridge police.  Should people be forced to give up their regular shows for one night for the sake of hearing Obama’s policies or does the average citizien gain little (or nothing) from watching this sort of political coverage?



  1. Another example of corporate owned media organizations acting for profit rather than any notion of democracy, even the ones that make their profits from the public airwaves.

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