WaPo: Let’s never do the SOTU red-carpet thing again, CNN

posted at 8:41 pm on January 13, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday I described the State of the Union a “national embarrassment,” one hardly befitting a republic based on the principle of coequal branches of government. The obsequious reception given by Congress provides “a grotesque parody of monarchical excess,” of which even Congress tired by the end of President Obama’s speech last night. Callum Borchers at the Washington Post finds another reason to detest the SOTU spectacle — the media’s coverage of it. Last night CNN decided to cover the pre-SOTU arrivals like an entertainment-industry awards show, which … is probably not far off in terms of substance, actually.

Borchers wasn’t entertained, however:

It’s awards show season, and, perhaps inspired by the ever-popular red-carpet interview, CNN decided it would be a good idea to position chief political correspondent Dana Bash outside the House chamber to snag interviews with lawmakers, justices and Cabinet members as they showed up for Tuesday’s State of the Union address. It was, in a word, awkward.

Attendees mostly blew her off, never breaking stride on their way in. At one point, Bash observed that the approaching Supreme Court justices had not yet donned their robes — how unusual! — and asked her camera operator to pan over to show them. The sight was not exactly Hollywood glamorous. When the justices drew near, Bash joked that she could hardly recognize them in normal clothes. If they were amused, it didn’t show; they kept walking. …

This is no knock on Bash, who as we’ve noted is a very reputable Capitol Hill journalist. But she had an impossible mission. While movie stars love to stop and gab on the red carpet — largely because they know the questions will be total softballs and because they are, well, celebrities — politicians have no interest in impromptu interviews on live television. Why risk being surprised by a question you don’t want to answer?

More importantly, entertainers show up to awards shows and red-carpet entrées to entertain. Politicians, at least in theory, show up to govern. As silly as the red-carpet coverage is for awards shows, at least fans care about what celebrities wear. Who cares what politicians wear?

Bash eventually did get John Kerry to engage, but not before he made it clear that he didn’t want to get roped into it on live television, leaving Bash to plead:

Not every coverage experiment will work out, and it may be a bit churlish to fault CNN for giving this a try. However, it does serve as a reminder that no one takes the SOTU seriously, and that the full-court media press serves mainly as entertainment fluff for an annual moment of political fluff. At least awards shows give us an actual song and dance occasionally.

The embarrassing spectacle of the SOTU isn’t CNN’s fault. It’s not Barack Obama’s fault, for that matter. The fault lies with Congress, and so does the solution.


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Comments

CNN is a garbage fire.

aquaviva on January 13, 2016 at 8:47 PM

Both laughable and sad at the same time.

Aizen on January 13, 2016 at 8:49 PM

I did like Lady Obama’s yellow dress. It gave an aire of cheerfulness to her normally sour disposition.

Walter L. Newton on January 13, 2016 at 9:01 PM

Lame-totally

bazil9 on January 13, 2016 at 9:07 PM

Translating the WaPo:
It was all right for our favored political princeling’s final SOTU this time but don’t any Republican presidents dare do this!

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on January 13, 2016 at 9:11 PM

Perhaps CNN will go the way of Al Jazeera America and just vanish.

woodhull on January 13, 2016 at 9:13 PM

Lame-totally

bazil9 on January 13, 2016 at 9:07 PM

What?

You didn’t like Lady Obama’s dress?

Walter L. Newton on January 13, 2016 at 9:13 PM

Politicians hate to be held to account.

rbj on January 13, 2016 at 9:13 PM

Walter L. Newton on January 13, 2016 at 9:01 PM

Did it look like over $2K worth of dress? I’m too cheap.

Cindy Munford on January 13, 2016 at 9:13 PM

bazil9 on January 13, 2016 at 9:07 PM

What?

You didn’t like Lady Obama’s dress?

Walter L. Newton on January 13, 2016 at 9:13 PM

I didn’t and don’t ever watch or listen to their BS.
I don’t care about her Mother effing dress.

bazil9 on January 13, 2016 at 9:15 PM

Did it look like over $2K worth of dress? I’m too cheap.

Cindy Munford on January 13, 2016 at 9:13 PM

It cost over two thousand? I didn’t know that. As a good capitalist, I would have charged five thousand.

Walter L. Newton on January 13, 2016 at 9:31 PM

1) SOTU was yesterday
2) Barack Obama is now officially a Lame Duck
3) Yesterdays SOTU was dull uninspiring and lame
4) Nikki Haley’s performance was obscene and disgusting

Time to let the 2016 SOTU die the death it deserves, quit trying to keep it on life support Ed.

oscarwilde on January 13, 2016 at 9:31 PM

I don’t care about her Mother effing dress.

bazil9 on January 13, 2016 at 9:15 PM

Someone in the SoTU thread last night said it looked like she was wearing a 4 foot wide life raft. I almost tuned in just to see it myself, but I managed to resist the temptation to witness that wreck first hand.

Andy__B on January 13, 2016 at 9:37 PM

Wow … I don’t know if I can face life anymore, after reading that.
Knowing that the good folks at CNN were doing the best, most professional journalism in covering the SOTU show/spectacular/extravaganza, was the thing that kept me motivated to live.

listens2glenn on January 13, 2016 at 9:38 PM

I did like Lady Obama’s yellow dress. It gave an aire of cheerfulness to her normally sour disposition.

Walter L. Newton on January 13, 2016 at 9:01 PM

It was yellow? It looked orange on my hotel TV … either way didn’t find it flattering. Those two colors just scream “attention whore” in a formal environment.

smokeyblonde on January 13, 2016 at 9:39 PM

The embarrassing spectacle of the SOTU isn’t CNN’s fault. It’s not Barack Obama’s fault, for that matter. The fault lies with Congress, and so does the solution.

I disagree. The solution need not come form Congress.

Suppose a new U.S. president was elected. An outsider. Suppose this new president prepared a SOTU in written form, and sent over to Congress a couple pages a la George Washington. Would there be any penalty for it? Could there be?

Lolo on January 13, 2016 at 9:46 PM

Suppose a new U.S. president was elected. An outsider. Suppose this new president prepared a SOTU in written form, and sent over to Congress a couple pages a la George Washington. Would there be any penalty for it? Could there be?

Lolo on January 13, 2016 at 9:46 PM

Like it!

Tweet the SOTU!

“Yuge year! We rock! Love ya all! The Don.”

smokeyblonde on January 13, 2016 at 9:48 PM

The presidential candidate who pledges to Deep-6 the SOTU farce and return to simply sending a document on the state of the union to congress once-a-year, will get my vote.

PackerBronco on January 13, 2016 at 9:51 PM

The presidential candidate who pledges to Deep-6 the SOTU farce and return to simply sending a document on the state of the union to congress once-a-year, will get my vote.

PackerBronco on January 13, 2016 at 9:51 PM

Somehow I’m thinking a Trump SOTU would be an awesome experience!

Can you imagine how fun it would be? How many talking heads and congressional member’s heads would explode?!? Makes me absolutely giddy thinking about it! :)

smokeyblonde on January 13, 2016 at 9:54 PM

Somehow I’m thinking a Trump SOTU would be an awesome experience!

Can you imagine how fun it would be? How many talking heads and congressional member’s heads would explode?!? Makes me absolutely giddy thinking about it! :)

smokeyblonde on January 13, 2016 at 9:54 PM

Would there be a Rep and Dem rebuttal.

RickB on January 13, 2016 at 9:57 PM

Would there be a Rep and Dem rebuttal.

RickB on January 13, 2016 at 9:57 PM

Good question … I can envision each party giving their own; while there is a very good chance it is just the elitist oligarch Uniparty response.

smokeyblonde on January 13, 2016 at 10:00 PM

CNN is the loser who was cool in high school and loves to tell people down at the dunkin donuts.

Pegcity on January 13, 2016 at 10:03 PM

CNN is the loser who was cool in high school and loves to tell people down at the dunkin donuts.

Pegcity on January 13, 2016 at 10:03 PM

Just for you! :) Glory Days

smokeyblonde on January 13, 2016 at 10:08 PM

Why isn’t it a knock on Dana Bash? She has enough presence with CNN to have told them to it was a terrible idea- She’s one of many media dolts that think everything Democratic is a pop culture event.

BettyRuth on January 13, 2016 at 10:36 PM

A Yellow Frock, how fitting!
canopfor on January 12, 2016 at 9:00 PM

http://hotair.com/archives/2016/01/12/youre-welcome-america-obama-to-celebrate-the-relentless-awesomeness-of-his-presidency-in-final-sotu/comment-page-1/#comments
======================================

The future IS bright! Michelle opts for $2,000 sunshine yellow dress to reflect President’s optimistic State of the Union address
********

Michelle Obama wears yellow at Barack’s final State of the Union address
********

She certainly knows how to make an entrance. Possibly the most fashion-conscious First Lady ever, Michelle Obama, waving as she took her seat alongside special guests chosen to sit in her box, made a statement with her dress for husband’s final State of the Union address. Michelle opted for a signature sleeveless look – a showstopping yellow wool and silk dress from American designer Narciso Rodriguez priced at more than $2,000. Perhaps intentionally, her sunny dress was a reflection of the optimistic theme of Obama’s address this year.

The outfit went down a storm on Twitter.

‘@MichelleObama looking like a radiant and poised goddess in a hue of American cheese @kraftfoods #SOTU,’ wrote Joan Thompson.
===============================================================

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3396798/Empire-Sun-Michelle-opts-bright-yellow-2-000-dress-reflect-President-s-optimistic-final-State-Union-address.html

canopfor on January 13, 2016 at 10:47 PM

Attendees mostly blew her off, never breaking stride on their way in.

Well, that’s pretty much how they all treat us…unless they’re on the campaign trail of course.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 14, 2016 at 1:07 AM

I did like Lady Obama’s yellow dress. It gave an aire of cheerfulness to her normally sour disposition.

Walter L. Newton on January 13, 2016 at 9:01 PM

She looked like a damned School Bus.

AppraisHer on January 14, 2016 at 2:20 AM

It won’t be long until SOTU has TV timeouts

BobMbx on January 15, 2016 at 8:39 AM

Her Majesty, The Queen (of England) can wear yellow, but did I mention she’s The Queen?

Note: Mrs. Obama isn’t the queen. Of anywhere; certainly not the U.S.A.

ReggieA on January 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM