As we detailed in a story earlier on Tuesday, President Obama appeared in a Funny or Die web video with comedian and actor Zach Galifianakis. The video is part of an interview series that Galifianakis does for the comedy website known as ‘Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.’ Overall, the interview with the President was pretty darn funny. At the same time, the President used the video as a way to inform people of the health care law.
Anyway, the predictable outrage hit immediately at Fox News. During Fox & Friends, Elizabeth Hasselbeck said, “Some would argue that it’s inappropriate for the president of the United States to be advertising a law, an insurance plan.” This was after co-host Brian Kilmeade stated it was inappropriate for the President to be sitting down for a fake interview that was really a comedy skit. This is really rich. Somehow, Hasselbeck feels that President Obama should not be saying anything positive about the current health care law or encouraging people to sign up for health insurance.
I would assume, then, that Hasselbeck has issues with current Republican lawmakers speaking poorly of the ACA and actively campaigning against it. Right? Of course not! That is all perfectly OK with her. However, god forbid the President, or any other Democrat, come forward and tell the American people how a law works and try to get them to adhere to said law. As for Kilmeade, I’m guessing he had all kinds of issues with President George W. Bush taking part in the White House Correspondents Dinners while he was in office. I am sure Kilmeade was appalled when Bush joked about being unable to find the WMDs while two wars were being fought.
After Hasselbeck and Kilmeade got the ball rolling, seemingly the rest of Fox News, as well as other conservative media figures, jumped on board and got right to work attacking the President for the ‘inappropriate’ interview. A normal person who watched the interview probably thought it was funny and it showed that the President has a great sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously. However, normal people don’t work for the right-wing media outrage machine.
The Daily Caller and Washington Free Beacon, both conservative news hustlers, got columns up right away declaring how awful and agenda-driven the interview was. Laura Ingraham, Katie Pavlich and Martha MacCallum, all Fox News personalities, took to Twitter and made sure to advance the narrative of the day that this was a very, very bad thing that the President did.
Yeah, presiding over America’s decline is a knee-slapper. “Obama’s New Approach Takes a Humorous Turn” http://t.co/WuWuHqpMoU
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 11, 2014
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) March 11, 2014
— martha maccallum (@marthamaccallum) March 11, 2014
It’s really just so predictable and typical. President Obama does something. Right-wing media must attack. Rinse. Repeat. While this was just an innocuous little comedy sketch that was mostly for fun but also helped provide a message about the Affordable Care Act and the federal healthcare exchange, conservatives couldn’t just ignore it and move on. They had to get up in arms about it and make it a big deal.
However, what they don’t realize is that by railing against it and calling it ‘inappropriate’, all they’ve done is make it likelier to be watched by even more people than it would have normally. With their faux outrage and constant harping, they’ve only broadened the audience that will now go and see it. They’ve forced this to stay in the news cycle longer. It is quite possible that they may have made more people fans of the President.
H/T: Media Matters
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).