Aug
16
2009

Shallow Press Longs for Shallow President

WashingtonMonthly.com blogger Steve Benen (Political Animal, 8/12/09) has words for corporate pundits lambasting Barack Obama's "Attention to Detail" as "going "into the weeds":

A few weeks ago, MSNBC's First Read had an item questioning whether President Obama "knows too much" about healthcare policy. The piece complained that the president is willing to offer Americans details about reform….

The Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Weisman raised a similar concern today, arguing that Obama cares too much about policy details….

This, apparently, is criticism, not praise. The president who inherited a devastating economic crisis is interested in U6 numbers–a measure that includes the unemployed, those who are working part-time but want full-time employment, and those who've simply given up–and this, we're told, is somehow evidence of excessive interest in detail.

Benen thinks that too-skeptical-for-the-Washington Post Dan Froomkin "has this just right" when writing that "there are all sorts of legitimate reasons to be concerned about Obama's approach to governing" but "intellectual curiosity is one thing journalists in particular should celebrate, not sneer at."

In Benen's closing thoughts he really "can't help but wonder if" reporters might simply "prefer a more superficial president because they have a more superficial perspective?"