By Jaime Weinman - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 0 Comments
Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com gets a lot of traffic when it’s linked by the Drudge Report, and you can usually tell which posts are linked: they’re the ones where the commenters proclaim the reason nobody watches NBC is because of its relentless liberal agenda. But sometimes Finke herself writes like she agrees with these commenters – or is at least trying to empathize with them – and never more so than on Oscar night when she was one of the first to criticize the show for having Michelle Obama on:
As if Hanoi Jane weren’t fuel enough. Oh My God – the Academy actually fans the fire by drafting First Lady Michelle Obama to help present Best Picture from presumably the White House? So unnecessary and inappropriate to inject so much politics into the Oscars yet again. Hollywood will get pilloried by conservative pundits for arranging this payoff for all the campaign donations it gave the President’s re-election campaign. I don’t understand this very obvious attempt to infuriate right-leaning audiences. Clearly the studios only want to sell their movies to only half of America. And here I’d thought Spielberg had overreached at the Golden Globes by bringing Bill Clinton onstage…
I wasn’t even sure if she means it seriously or is just trying to get some link-bait, but it doesn’t make sense either way. I’m all for Hollywood not being out of touch with half the country, but this does not apply to the First Lady, who is married to the president of the whole country. More importantly, the number of people who would be infuriated by the mere presence of an Obama on their TV screens is not the same as the number of people who didn’t vote for Obama. It’s a much, much smaller number.
By Jaime Weinman - Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 10:50 AM - 0 Comments
Loving or hating the first lady may be a political litmus test
There are two Michelle Obamas, depending on what media you consume. The first version of the U.S. first lady is in the inspiring books with titles like Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style, and the upcoming What Would Michelle Do?. The other Michelle Obama is the one Rush Limbaugh calls “Michelle, My Butt,” the one National Review’s Victor Davis Hanson proclaimed “had become increasingly angry since her undergraduate days.” Laura Bush was mostly ignored, even by her husband’s foes, but loving or hating Michelle Obama may be turning into a political litmus test.
The first Michelle is popular in fashion magazines, which celebrate her style choices and emphasis on healthy eating. “Michelle Obama understands that style is much more than an aesthetic choice or political tool,” wrote Kate Beatts, a former Harper’s Bazaar editor, in Everyday Icon. “It is the expression of one’s life, one’s way of being.” The entertainment industry has embraced her, too. The sitcom iCarly featured her in an episode earlier this year, the first time a ﬁrst lady had been so immortalized since Nancy Reagan showed up on Diff’rent Strokes.
But if you turn to Fox News or talk radio, Mrs. Obama’s emphasis on personal style comes off looking sinister. In particular, her anti-obesity campaign is seen as an excuse for a government power grab. Rebecca Hagelin, who writes the column “How to Save Your Family” for the Washington Times, wrote that Mrs. Obama “has assumed the air of ‘government knows best’ rather than empowering parents to make informed decisions about what’s best for their families.” Michelle Malkin, a columnist and Fox contributor, claimed the initiative is meant to enrich labour unions involved in serving healthy lunches: “The biggest beneficiaries of her efforts,” Malkin wrote, “have been her husband’s deep-pocketed pals at the Service Employees International Union.”