We're so excited! We have a winner in the Peanut crew's new "Spank the Media" competition to find the stupidest, most overblown, most time-wasting, or downright unfactual bit of media out there. (Really, though, we have to limit it to the most blatant examples; we don't have room or time enough to list the daily Hefty bags of eligible competitors.)
Admittedly, the Barack Obama-Rev. Jeremiah Wright linkage is a hot, hot, hot topic. The fires are repeatedly stoked by Wright's particular-and often downright weird--skill in hopping back out in front of the media sideshow tent. Still and all, a newscast trumpeting an "exclusive, one on one" interview with Obama about his reaction to Wright's latest pronouncements outdid even Little Egypt in teasing the midway but delivering little.
WMAQ NBC-5 repeatedly referenced their "exclusive one on one" interview with Obama, "the first" since the sneak peek release of Wright's interview with Bill Moyers. Was it an "exclusive one on one" interview?
Only if you're so hard up for dubious glory to claim that an awkward, poorly-photographed, poorly-structured, and even-more-poorly questioned standard "shove mike in face" is an "exclusive one on one interview." An example of a true exclusive, personal interview is the upcoming Moyers piece.
But a tease in a short, less than three-minute clip isn't the same thing. Nor is a second clip, which has only a short reference to the Wright controversy, an exclusive interview as in Moyer's piece.
We'll save you the time of learning just what it is that Obama had to say about Wright's piece in that oh-so-exclusive interview (which is hinted at, in the first clip, as focusing on the Wright issue). Here's the exclusive news: Obama hasn't seen Wright's interview yet, so he isn't able to comment.
Wow! We hope you were sitting down for that huge bit of exclusive, breaking news.
The second clip offers a few surface gloss-overs of other topics, served up by a softball reporter with basic "I'm so impressed you're talking to me" questions.
The piece is only otherwise remarkable in the shots over the reporter's stooped back, the nifty sustained shot of her cellphone (looks like a Palm Treo), and, occasionally, a bit of the reporter's face bobbing up and down, darting, at the side.
It wasn't an exclusive one-on-one interview, it wasn't even a quick mike-in-face chat of substance, it was poorly presented, and it had nothing more to offer than basic Obama public relations pablum. Bend over, NBC 5 WMAQ, it's your turn in the SPANK THE MEDIA spotlight.
And what about a thoughtful look at the Obama-Wright issue? Analyst & campaign expert Ned Barnett weighed in on that.
At Wright's church, Easter celebrations included a from-the-pulpit admonition to not give interviews. There's a lot of blame going around for the "God damn America" mess, and both the Obama and Wright camps are busy trying to make sure the blame doesn't stick to either of the two men.