On Thursday afternoon, President Obama sat down for live interviews with three well-known YouTube personalities. The interview segments were streamed live on the White House’s YouTube page and had already generated roughly 700,000 views by Friday morning. As is the case with anything this president does these days, there was immediate criticism from the right, as pundits complained that the interviews were “beneath the dignity of the office” and they represented bad optics due to serious issues going on in the world.
Of course, Fox News was first with the criticism. During the broadcast of The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly had Fox’ media critic Howie Kurtz on to discuss President Obama sitting down with the young online sensations to take questions. After showing one of the interviewers, GloZell Green, eating cereal out of a bathtub, Kelly played a clip from her interview with the President where she referred to the First Lady as “his first wife” and offered green lipstick as a gift. She then turned it over to Kurtz, who complained that the interviews were not dignified enough for the office.
Meanwhile, Kelly used the segment to both belittle Green and lecture the White House on “optics.” She wondered how eating cereal out of a bathtub was a proper audition to interview the leader of the free world. The Fox host also poked fun at GloZell’s lipstick color and self-portrait that was shown during the interview, saying that she’ll make sure to do the same thing if she scores an interview with Obama. At the same time, Kelly said she didn’t think it was a good look for the President to do these interviews with problems flaring up in Yemen. This is a classic Fox News tactic where they whine about the President doing something they deem unworthy by pointing to some world issue he should be tending to.
Below is video of the Fox News segment, courtesy of RealClearPolitics:
In case you were wondering, Kelly and Kurtz weren’t the only ones clucking away about the interviews. On Friday mornings’s broadcast of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski both criticized the interviews, focusing mainly on GloZell and, just as Kelly had done, showing a clip of her eating cereal from a tub. Scarborough, just like Kurtz, complained about the interviews being beneath “the dignity of the office.” Mika, on the other hand, said she talked “to these Millenials” about GloZell and then played clips of GloZell being outrageous. Mika then watched with a horrified look on her face as if this was all so unbelievably strange and unprecedented.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
Beyond these two examples, you also had other right-wing columnists and pundits complaining about POTUS sitting down with GloZell. WND ran a preemptive piece earlier in the week ridiculing the YouTube star. The Blaze jumped in after the interview aired by highlighting GloZell’s use of the word “po-po.” Of course, Breitbart posted a video clip of GloZell accompanied with a provocative headline.
It should be noticed that the concentration of the criticism coming from conservative media figures centers on Obama’s interview with a young, eclectic black woman who looked different and used some slang in the conversation. The President was interviewed by two other young people. However, because they aren’t black with wildly different personal styles, those segments get little to no notice by the right-wing press. Instead, they felt the need to focus on this young black woman rolling around in milk and cereal and offering green lipstick as a gift for the First Family. I wonder why that is?
Anyway, if you want to watch three media personalities ask the President of the United States some very interesting and hard-hitting questions, the video is below.
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).