(This guest piece written by Nation intern Melanie Breault, who also contributes items every day to the Daybook.) If you had the opportunity to sit down with President Obama and four of your girlfriends, what would you talk about? Immigration reform, the Gulf oil crisis, the WikiLeaked Afghanistan war documents? How about Snooki, Mel Gibson and the president’s iPod playlists?
This morning, Obama made history as the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show when he appeared on The View, and the show’s hosts took full advantage. Without wasting any time, Barbara Walters asked him, “Do you really think that being on a show with a bunch of women, five women who never shut up, is going to be calming?”
His response: “Look, I was trying to find a show that Michelle actually watched.”
The hosts of the show actually did quiz the president on political issues including the economy, the war, as well as race relations in reference to the Shirley Sherrod episode. Still, Sarah Palin tweeted this afternoon: “President w/ no time to visit porous US/Mexican border to offer help to those risking life to secure us, but lotso' time to chat on The View?”
A few days before the show, FOX News criticized the president for choosing the ladies over the Boy Scouts' 100th anniversary Jamboree. An article there pointed out that “organizers had invited the president to speak to the 45,000 scouts in attendance” and “all three of Obama's predecessors have made it to one Jamboree while in office.” Stephen Colbert didn’t waste an opportunity to laugh at its absurdity, by claiming that the president was “once again disrespecting our boys in uniform.”
As the day went on, media outlets picked which part of the interview they want to focus on, whether the headline reads “Flustered by Mel Gibson & Snooki” or “I Wasn’t Invited To Chelsea’s Wedding." Tonight The Daily Show opened with some choice clips from the media protests (Fred Barnes, Michelle Malkin, even Ed Rendell)--with some claiming that Obama had destroyed the "dignity" of the office. Jon Stewart then showed George Bush's sit-down in 2004 with....Dr. Phil.
The hot blog topic, naturally, was his claim that he didn't know who Snooki is, even though he had name-checked her in a speech. We'll expect calls for impeachment over that by daybreak.
Then there was the inevitable what's-on-your-iPod query and reply: "You name it. You name a song, I've got it on there. I've got Jay-Z on there. I've got Frank Sinatra on there. I've got Maria Callas on there."
"Justin Bieber!" proposed Sherri Shepherd.
"I do not have Justin Bieber on there," said Obama. Good thing those under-18 still can't vote.