Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Washington 20500" - The Next Hit TV Series?

Pardon me for a moment while I roll out a bit of what could probably be called old fogeyism in today's post but this particular thing has been bothering me for awhile and what better place to vent about it and get it off my chest then right here on my blog? After all, it's why I have this thing, right? So that I can occasionally air my opinion and then wait for everyone else to come by and either validate it or tell me that I'm wrong!

Okay then, the thing that's bothering me is this ... since when did politicians in this country achieve celebrity status? Has anyone besides me noticed that Hollywood is going a bit overboard in regards to our new First Family that will be moving into the White House soon? It's not just President-Elect Obama whom the paparazzi are chasing down on the beach or First Lady-in-Waiting Michelle Obama whom everyone is waiting on with bated breath to see what she wears to the inauguration and all of the over-the-top parties that follow but it's also the new First Kids whom are being elevated to - dare I say it? - Miley Cyrus status.

I had the TV on the other night so that I could get an idea what Old Man Winter had in store for us and upon completion of the news, the channel that I had on sequed into one of those annoying "television magazine shows". I'm not sure if it was "Extra" or "Inside Edition" or "Entertainment Tonight" or what the heck it was as I wasn't really paying that much attention and had just neglected to turn the TV off but, regardless, I looked up when I heard one of the Hollywood reporters talking to a designer who was just gushing over potential bedroom decorations and furnishings for Malia Ann and Sasha. My initial thought was "Why?" quickly followed by "You've got to be kidding me!"

Never in the course of my 50 years can I ever remember anyone giving a hoo-rah-damn about what the bedrooms of the kids moving into the White House were going to look like! And there have been plenty of kids occupying the White House during the course of that 50 years so don't tell me that it's a new phenomena to have a couple of kids moving into the Presidential residence with Mom & Dad.

Wondering whether or not it was just me that had noticed this rather disturbing trend of Hollywood following every move the new First Family makes, I went in search of verification on the internet and came across this little piece ...
TV Week's Andrew Krukowski reports that "Access Hollywood" and "Entertainment Tonight" will continue to cover the Obama family in detail: It's a symbiosis in which shows such as "Access Hollywood" and "Entertainment Tonight" cover the Obama family like royalty, bringing back a Camelot mythology to the White House. In return, they are enjoying a ratings bump with unexpected staying power. "We're going to treat the Obamas like a Hollywood family," said Rob Silverstein, executive producer of NBC Universal Television Distribution's "Access Hollywood."...
Are you kidding me? Have ratings become such a precious thing in TV Land that we are willing to treat the family of the man who is supposed to be the most powerful leader in the free world and bring about massive amounts of change like the Osbournes? Geez, Louise, next thing you know they're going to be wiring The White House like the "Big Brother" house so that we don't miss a single moment!

This is where the old fogeyism I mentioned above comes into play when I say quite emphatically that we need to cut this stuff out right now before it comes back to bite us in the butt. Politicians are NOT celebrities. Even when Ronald Reagan, who was an actor and a celebrity long before he became a politician, was in office he wasn't treated like this and neither was his family. The media knew where to draw a line and they stayed on the other side of it. Sure, everyone liked to see what Nancy was wearing from time to time but they didn't roll it out on the evening news or the type of show that tells you when Brad and Angelina are expecting their next kid or if Britney managed to stay out of rehab for another day. WAKE UP, AMERICA!!

Barack Obama is NOT the new John Kennedy and Camelot is long gone and doesn't need to be resurrected. Besides which, if you were to look under the surface of the Kennedy Administration you'd see that it wasn't all royalty and roses there either - the man was a womanizer, he just did a better job of keeping it under wraps than Clinton did. He was cut down by an assassin's bullet before he had a chance to do something stupid with his Presidency and so he died a glorious hero rather than a goat like Nixon who was a brilliant President but managed to shoot himself in the foot and the only thing people can remember him for is Watergate rather than the end to the Vietnam War and his other many accomplishments.

President-Elect Obama needs to be his own man and he needs to be given the chance to prove that he can lead this country without Oprah and the rest of "Hollywood royalty" showing him the way. Let's leave the actors and actresses where they belong - on the movie sets and stages - while we put the politicians back where they belong - in Washington leading our country and NOT entertaining it.

We are setting a really nasty precedent here and - honestly - I feel like our country is beginning to lose its credibility in the eyes of the rest of the world because of stupid stuff like this which will only get worse as the media turns everything into a circus and a made-for-TV moment.

I don't know about the rest of you but when I turn on the television I want to hear about how my new President helped our struggling economy or addressed the number of other myriad issues facing our Nation - not what piece of furniture the new puppy chewed on, what Michelle is wearing, or how the kids did on their latest report cards. I don't cast my vote at an election to be entertained, I cast my vote for leadership and representation.

Am I wrong? Could I possibly be the only person who feels this way?


  1. Well, Hallelujah!! It's about time someone said what I was thinking! I couldn't agree with you more - especially about the "Second Coming of Camelot" crap! What you said about Kennedy & Nixon were spot on, and even though I'm just under 10yrs behind you, and wasn't around for Kennedy, I remember enough about Nixon to know you're right. Even my father would agree with you! And really, WHO CARES what the kids' bedrooms, clothes, ect. are like? If anything, I hope & pray that this guy doesn't screw up our great nation!

    -another "fogy",


  2. You said it all perfectly my dear friend. Thanks for speaking your mind. It's always enjoyable to hear. You Amaze me at times. :)

  3. You always talk sense Linda! :)

  4. Anonymous3:41 PM EST

    Scary, huh? American Idol meets government.

  5. I know just what you mean. Well done to you Linda in saying what most are thinking. The media seems to have fallen in love with them.

  6. every SINGLE time i see him without a shirt i throw up a little in my throat. yeesh people! and if i have to look at her in the horrible black dress with the two big red blotches on the front ever again i will lose it all i swear. camelot??? i think not... all we need is the mistress now. and the wife beating the krap out of her in a jello pit. yeah, that.

    smiles, bee

  7. Anonymous3:57 PM EST

    See, that's why I don't watch much TV. Pure Drivel. I haven't seen a Newscaster or a News Journalist in ages. It's Opininators. Instead of reporting the news, they tell us their opinions.

    This past election year(or rather years, because it seemed endless), I found it hard to watch any of the major networks to follow the election. I actually had to watch C-Span. You know you're an old fogy when you start watching C-Span!

  8. He's not a celebrity to me. I don't like him anymore now than I did prior to his winning the election. His body ain't that great either and his wife is UGLY. I know, we've had other ugly first ladies. She will just be added to the collection.

    Very well done Linda. I don't care to hear every single little detail about them either. I don't care how their daughters rooms are decorated. I don't care if MIL moves in.

    I don't care about Oprah either. Just saying. Don't we have more pressing issues to worry about? More pressing issues that need addressed? Yes, I think so.

    Thanks for letting me vent a bit too. Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  9. Anonymous6:26 PM EST

    As least old JFK was a veteran of WWII. Give him that respect at least. More than I can say about Obama.

  10. Certainly I give JFK respect for being a decorated war veteran and he was a good President - he just wasn't the god that everyone likes to remember him as. And I would also suggest that people stop comparing Obama to Kennedy for the simple reason that Kennedy's Presidency didn't exactly end well, did it?

  11. could care less...I still can't find a job!

  12. yeah Linda you are totally spot on...you know I am not a big supporter of Obama...or part of his fanbase...but I do differ on one point with you. It is not just "Hollywood" who is behind the hype (although they do participate) It is the msm (main stream media) that has gone overboard.

    Then again...they have a gossipy, gotta know all, gotta know it now audience clamoring for more. In my (maybe not so humble) opinion...things are very different this time around.

    First, Obama and his family are much much younger than any First fam we have seen in a really long time. The Obamas are not the Kennedys...but we did see a lot of little kid stuff with Caroline and JohnJohn...and the public invaded Jackies privacy on her miscarriage. I am fairly certain one of the print news mags did a spread on Amy Carter's room in the White House as well.

    Second, Obama has not been in politics....or public office...for very long. There just isn't that much political substance to report on. So the msm delves into what they can find.

    Lastly....but most importantly...at no other time in history has an incoming President been confronted with the technology we have today. The cameras (from a distance), the sound equipment, the immediate posting of stories, with video and photos. Independent paparazzi, the National Inquirer types and the foreign contingent are now competing to get the scoop from the network and cable news organizations.

    Not that it makes it right or even palatable. At least once a week I am yelling at some idiocy on the television news.

    One point...cause fair is fair....in my memory...and in studying history what the First Lady wears to the inauaration has ALWAYS been a big deal. Twenty years ago the Smithsonian added the First Lady dress collection to their traveling display. It was amazing to see.

    I would be willing to bet once Obama takes office he will cut off the gossip and glamor that he can. It seems he is getting a little fed up with the fluff himself.

    But really...we are gonna know more about this First Fam than any other in the past.

  13. YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!! I love the way you put my thoughts on paper...
    We now live in a culture of celebrity. But don't fear - if Rob Silverstein gets his hands on anything it will go belly-up!
    I don't expect Obama to go swimming with his shirt on, but the press makes him out to be an Adonis. And yes, I'm already sick of the hoopla.
    I heard that QVC, among others, is going to be hawking "trinkets" at the celebrations, or should I say, the crowning of the annointed one.
    Talk about trivialization of the Presidency.

  14. I think Amazing Gracie hit it on the head "trivialization of the Presidency". I agree Linda, the guy needs to be addressing the countries issues, not playing up with Oprah.

  15. Linda,

    does "Camelot" ring a bell??

    It's cause he's young, (well, and black).

    We're still waiting to see what he's gonna do, if anything..

  16. I don't know...I don't think it's so bad. I mean, I could really care less what the decor in the white house is, and yes, it's a little silly, but...I kind of think it's nice that they are so open and willing to let us get to know them.

    Hollywood is overboard with everything...

  17. Oh my goodness, Duchess Linda.
    This is EXACTLY what I was thinking about what is going on in the media. So many journalists are gushing over the future first family. I also don't give a hoot about the kids' bedrooms or Michelle's wardrobe or whatever. I vote for leadership and representation as well. Brilliant post, my dear.

    I liked Amazing Gracie's term: "trivialization of the Presidency." That's it to a T.

    I didn't see this post Tuesday, because when I came by I saw your contest post, and didn't know you had written since then...I was actually getting worried about you this week, because you always post something! As you can tell, I don't use Google Reader.
    I swing by everybody's blogs.
    I'll catch up with your other posts later. Must do errand now.


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