Daily Archives: April 29, 2010

Obama and the press, no longer BFF. Two quick TV questions. And Ricky Williams, explained

So one of the huge themes of the 2008 presidential campaign was the media’s love affair with Barack Obama.

Lots of liberals thought the complaining was overblown, that he really did get fair coverage for the most part.

Not me. I think the press totally gave Obama a pass on many things, such as the fact that he had better ideas, was smarter, and had a much better organized campaign. Seriously, why didn’t they rip him for that stuff?

I kid. It’s true Obama was treated pretty gently by the press, in at least a small part because he made himself so available to reporters, and seemed to like chatting with them. Here’s a dirty little secret about reporters: Be nice to us, and we’ll give you flattering coverage. It’s really not any more complicated than that, sadly.

Anyway, seems the media has turned on ole’ President Obama. I’ve been hearing and reading some of the complaints and stories for a while, but it really hit home in this fascinating story from Politico.com. Sure there’s a lot of press whining in here, but a few points are quite valid:

1, This promised to be a transparent administration, and it’s far from it, and 2, when people are saying Obama’s relationship to the media is worse than GWB’s, well, that ought to make some heads roll at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Nobody had worse press relations than Dubya, and if you’re being compared below that, that’s pretty scary.

This is probably a topic for another day, but I find it very interesting that people in the Obama administration seem to feel the press is something they only “need” occasionally.

**OK, two of my favorite shows this year really puzzled me this week. Maybe you can help.

— On “Parenthood,” they’re all about the storyline of Crosby falling in love with the mother of his child all over again, Jasmine. Except, what the hell happened to Crosby’s girlfriend on the show, the one he was going to have a baby with? I know they had that fight a few episodes ago when she found out he had a kid, but they just wrote her out of the show and out of his life after one argument? Weird.

— This week’s “Glee” was just not good. At all. They forgot the funny, and the same Burt Bacharach song twice in a row? Way too much schmaltz and cheese, not enough Sue and Rachel. So many good episodes have already come before this one, so “Glee,” I give you a mulligan.

***So after a pretty poor movie last week about fantasy sports, the good people doing ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series bounced back this week with the riveting “Run, Ricky, Run” about one of the strangest and most misunderstood athletes of our time. Ricky Williams failed a bunch of drug tests, did interviews with his helmet on, and basically walked away from the NFL in his prime.

He smoked a lot of weed, moved to Australia for a while, and oh yeah, we learn in this movie he allegedly suffered sexual abuse at the hands of his father as a boy.

He’s really a fascinating character, who even his friends and family can’t figure out. Check the movie out on ESPN this weekend when you get a chance.