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APRIL 3, 2009 5:23PM

Covering the G20 Like the Oscars - Trivializing of the Highe

Rate: 15 Flag

4-3-2009 1-11-26 PM 

Even during an economic crisis the press will devolve into covering an event that includes the leaders of the 20 most powerful economies of the world in the most trivial of ways.  Based on the coverage, we're not really sure happened aside from Mrs. Obama feeling up the queen, being in a stylistic cage match with the first lady of France, Gordon Brown laughing too hard at one of President Obama's jokes, and Obama himself ending a Fight Club round between the Chinese premier and the French president.  Oh, and someone said something about the possibility of a global regulatory framework that the US largely rejected in form though not in principle and something about a trillion dollars for the IMF.  What's the IMF?  Must be something like TARP, PPIP, TALF, et al.  All that stuff must be pretty unimportant.  We really should be focusing on the important stuff, like...

4-3-2009 1-11-54 PM

You have Arianna Huffington as the guest commentator on CNBC earlier in the week having an impromptu interview with Noriel Roubini about the soundness of the Geithner plan, and then you have her talking about Michelle Obama's style.  We appreciate the versatility, but is that the only thing to comment on coming out of the G20.  Either the G20 was a complete waste of time or the media's not sure what's important and what not at these events.

4-3-2009 1-12-37 PM 

Beyond all the foreign policy and trade stuff (yawn- that's what the G20 is about?), we  know what's wrong with Michelle Obama's style in Europe, but do we really have a clear sense of what progress was made with regard to US-Russian relations.  Anyone know how Obama reassured the Chinese leadership of their ability to maintain the value of the Chinese investment in US treasuries?  These questions go unasnwered, but we do understand that what Michelle Obama wore made her ass look too big.

4-3-2009 1-13-07 PM

Speaking of junk-in-the-trunk issues, apparently the US-UK relationship has hit an iceberg with a careless attempt at grab-ass.  

All of these "high-impact" stories are on the front page of the Huffington Post (all right now, all at the same time)...not People or US Weekly.  Over saturation with stories such as these call into question the credibility the HuffPo's upcoming adventure into "investigative journalism."  We wonder what that would the true depths of Michelle Obama's Amelda Marcos-like shoe collection? 

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Bonnie Fuller's broadside sounds more like sniveling jealousy. I am no kind of fashion critic, but to me Michelle Obama looks perfectly composed and magnificent really. It's a rare woman who could be photographed next to Carla Bruni and not come off looking like a sack of potatos- but Michelle Obama pulled it off.
I'm at work, so I don't have as much time to look up each of these as I'd like, but I wanted to gack when I read the Bonnie Fuller baloney.

I mean, really, who can take her seriously- she used to helm what, the Star, that beacon of style and truth? Yeah, I know she used to deal in fashion rags, but sheesh. Spare me.

I'm with icemilkcoffee on this one about the sniveling jealousy. Besides, Bonnie Fuller wouldn't be able to make her mortgage payment if she didn't create some kind of controversy and scream reeeeally loud about it as if she's got the final say in the matter.

What a stanky windbag.
I saw the Bonnie Fuller article, and like icemilkcoffee my first thought was, "Hmm, I detect a hint of sour grapes in your whine." And I think Oscar de la Renta is just mad that Michelle Obama isn't wearing *his* clothes.

A side note: Michelle Obama went to Princeton and Harvard; she was a high-powered lawyer, an executive director of a non-profit, an associate dean, a V.P. for community and external affairs for a hospital, and is on the board of directors for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. I think she's being a pretty damn good sport, and mighty patient, with all this pointless buffoonery around what she is wearing, how she styles her hair, and whether or not she groped the Queen. How she manages to keep quiet about it, I have no idea.
People could write reams of crap about First Lady Michelle Obama and it wouldn't change the fact that she is a stunning and beautiful woman with an intelligent head on her shapely shoulders.
Harvard and Princeton make good bedfellows. High powered lawyer, gawd, she sounds like Hillary. Let her defend herself. Her eyelashes look like she got a special at Wal-Mart. Arkansas company, I guess that makes sense. Seriously, how can we view her as a solid rep for the USA?? She doesn’t bow, her Hubby bows to the wrong guy (Saudi Arabia), an IPOD for the queen? What the fuck is next. It continues to be amateur hour brought to you by Kids-R-Us…
Considering how many good democrats there are with high fashion and diplomacy experience, It’s really not excusable for our first lady to look so out of sorts…
I just do not understand why most of the civilized world likes Michelle, but some dipshit here finds fault. Only White women want small asses. Black men like big asses, and from the latest stats on obesity (Michelle is in great physical shape) and a tour at Wal-Mart, other races do not have much of a choice.
WHAT WHAT what allows us freakin' pleabs to criticize the First Lady's figure, fashion sense, or decorum. If it any of these items were worthy of harsh words, we would still be obliged to bite our tounges, for anyone with any of it* doesn't go around revealing others lack of it. Decorum, that is, nor do the so endowed call out a lady on her back side, her stilletos, or her daring right to decide for herself what the f@#k whe wants to wear, whom she chooses to touch and what she'll be bringing as a gift. Thank you OS community for speaking my mind.
michelle obama is a divine goddess. anyone who says otherwise is a sniveling idiot.
I saw these comments in the headlines as I checked out the G20 coverage and I gave them the notice they deserved: I passed on. Michelle Obama is a lady, she's beautiful, she's intelligent and she's personally successful. The British press reacted to her as they did to Sarkozy's new wife, Carla Bruni: they talked about her clothes. 'Carla still stunning in demure grey!' I regret that the US press took up this misogynistic and anachronistic baton. It is neither news or fashion coverage but rather an exhibition of journalistic vacuity. Neither of these women fits the still-accepted stereotype: mute, meek, supposedly-moronic. Thank Heaven, I say! It's time our female roles models were Amazon Queens not Virgin Queens.
I too think Bonnie may have a jealous attitude. I just did a post about Michelle's style on Thursday and that says it all for me. No matter what they all say, she's at the top of my list with panache!
Thanks for this post about the media getting side track about non-news and bringing the world to an 'idol' final night popularity contest. And we wonder why people so ill-informed about what is really happening in the world.

The news media has become a series of catch phases and fluff. The executives of news networks are more interested in ratings, then in covering the news with journalistic competence.

Um, actually, they weren't on Huffpo's main page, they were on the Style section front page. Just like the NYT and the Washington Post and yup, even Salon. com, everyone covers style, and so what? People like to read about style, entertainment, and things that aren't hard news. Duh. And people have been covering First Lady's fashions forever. Duh again. WHAT is the big deal? Good grief. So Bonne Fuller was a little negative. Happens I agree with her. Michelle made some bad fashion choices. The black and white thing was seriously boring and the argyle sweater outfit was seriously ugly. It's okay to criticize Obama for some of his policy decisions but not okay to comment on Michelle's outfits? Give me a break.

You don't like HuffPo? Your choice. I write for them so am admittedly prejudiced. I wrote some wonderful political stuff during the election and they gave me a great chance to do so. Now I write political stuff and style pieces and enjoy both.

But this is SUCH a non story. And I don't get its placement on OS's front page when what ends up here ranges from the ridiculous to the submlime on any given day!
Nothing Michelle Obama has said, done, or worn since is as important as her statement of the moment at which she became proud of her country.

Add to that her husband's recent pronouncements about Europe's world leadership role and America's occasional arrogant refusal to acknowledge it and you've got a very worrisome First Couple.
Ms. Warren in her comment is incorrect. All 3 of these stories appeared at one point yesterday on the HuffPos main page. One story remains today. Only one of the above stories had any reference to the style section and was a front page teaser to the style section. So, the assertion that these were on the front page of the style section is inaccurate.
You're making a mountain out of a molehill..... I get the digest daily. It's all news and opinion. When I just went to HuffPo now, the front page is HUGE. It's full of news and opinion, with entertainment running down the right side, clearly marked, and most popular in a box. Style pieces are also clearly marked as Style and are not at all to be confused with news. I really don't get the beef. You should take issue with the Repubs who are making a big deal out of Obama's gifts when those gifts were clearly requested by the Queen and Prince themselves. If you wish to take issue at anything.
Journalism is stuck in a style of reporting that was suited to the past administration, but not to the Obamas. In result, reporters are going to have to find a new path.

I believe that the kind of reporting noted in your post is meant to distract people from the serious issues, and/or attract those that have no capacity to be think critically about global issues. Unfortunately, it seems to boil down to a war of smart versus simple.

I loved the portion of Michelle Obama's speech where she said there was nothing extraordinary about her upbringing, then went on to state something which to my ear was of huge import. She told the girls that she liked being smart. She focused on her school work and enjoyed getting good grades. She got up early and worked hard. She reminded the girls that they all were diamonds with huge potential to do the same if they chose to better themselves.

This kind of thinking and its repetition is what is going to bring the world out the past. Vapid reporting is pervasive enough to make the casual observer think it is news and thinking of import. You can see this parodied on the TV show "Kath and Kim".

We need to move beyond the dumbing down of America and encourage people to start thinking again. Without the bizarre biases of a Yale educated anti-intellectual at the helm, perhaps our new highly intelligent President and First Lady can reinstate a yearning within the masses for something better through hard work and education. America can only be its best when we can provide the talent and resources of an educated youth sufficient enough to staff our work force.

Kids use technology everyday -- let us aspire to develop a curiousity within them as to how these "toys" work. We need technoligically oriented minds to bring us into our future. I have faith that it will happen -- Go Obamas!
Your post is hysterical and so are the comments. Michelle is tall, she has a figure, she sometimes wears J. Crew and sometimes young American designers. Hooray and end of story. Focusing on her wardrobe, the supposed diplomatic breeches of protocol here and there and whether her hubby is coming across as too warm or too cool demonstrates how news and entertainment have merged to present us with "infotainment" - a hybrid that seeks to equalize every scrap of information. Maybe our anesthetized brains think a sweater set or a sleeveless dress is equivalent to an economic policy; that is, equally worthy of analysis and debate but that's just wrong.
The richest 20 countries in the world are trying to figure out how to either make themselves richer or make a vain attempt to stop the world economy from crumbling. Outside the gates masses of people were beaten for showing their distaste for this mess and one man even died.

But, that's trivial - after all, do people really care about the issues? Or do they want a Hollywood type spectacle with their "leaders." Give us spectacle - all this economic mumbo jumbo gives us a headache! Thumbed.
Thank you. I used to think the press should trivialize men in the same way (talk about where their clothes are from) but now I just think--who cares what people wear!

And I check out HuffPo but when I don't feel like viewing the stupid stuff that is on the front page (and if she's serious--make that idiocy links) I go to and

That Ms. Obama has a fantastic mind is much more important and interesting that what she wears.
AMEN! I was starting to think I was the only one who noticed this nonsense.

"Oh my, Michelle O got all dressed up in the same oh-so-affordable J Crew rags that the rest of us proles have to wear! Isn't she fabulous? Sources have informed CNN that the Queen found the Obama's to be simply delightful! In related new, some world leaders got together and talked about the economy or something. Back to you Nancy Grace..."

"Thanks Wolf. An anonymous source has just informed CNN that Caylee Anthony is still dead..."

I am so happy that CNN et al devoted hours to such vitally important matters. Who wants to hear about boring stuff like international economic policy when we've got more pressing matters like the octo-mom and the seating chart for the G20 dinner at Buckingham Palace to occupy our feeble minds.

Excellent article.