Saturday, February 7, 2009

Obama's Informal Appearance

Cambra aka camdiggidy,

In the radio lab you seemed eager to criticize President Obama for not wearing a suit jacket in the Oval office. I wanted to send you pictures of former presidents who were photographed in the Oval Office without the formal attire that you mentioned. Even Ronald Reagan, that lionized saint of the Republican pantheon, was photographed without suit jacket OR tie. These pictures are not just on Arianna's (a name you repeated with derision) Huffington Post... they are everywhere on the Internet.

An interesting question is, why are the mainstream media repeating this story everywhere, to the point where people like you are parroting it without any knowledge of what was actually done in the past by both Republicans and Democrats alike? Are we to blindly accept the intimation that somehow President Obama doesn't have class or respect for the Oval Office by not wearing a suit jacket? If so, then other Presidents are guilty of the same thing.

It's ridiculous and petty, especially considering the very real issues the country is facing. Criticism of President Obama for legitimate reasons is a duty of the media, (his policies, issues with the war and health care etc.) but if we're talking about what he's wearing, and suggesting that it breaks from tradition or is without proper respect when past examples of the same thing exist, one has to question the motives behind it. Those of us in the media should be able to spend a few minutes investigating with a quick Google search before repeating these things. The reason I'm writing this letter to you is because after leaving the group I became more dismayed by the exchange we had, considering journalistic integrity is the tradition that seems to be truly in danger in the United States, not some dress code.

I hope you don't mind my forwarding this to the rest of the group, in the interest of keeping things straight. People should know the whole truth.



camdiggidy said...

Hi Will,

I really apologize if offense was taken in any way; that absolutely was not my intent. I certainly didn't mean to imply anything derogatory and, if I remember the situation correctly, I was speaking in jest. Nonetheless, I want to emphasize that I'm deeply sorry if you were offended. I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to say something and I hope we can continue to air our concerns and articulate differences in such a way in the future. Again, please forgive, and thanks for raising these larger themes that we all need to be reminded of, particularly as media makers and concerned citizens.

Good working with you today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend,


Will Bradford said...

Hello Cambra,

Thank You for your thoughtful and kind response about President
Obama's clothing choices. I read your blog post and think that maybe I over reacted a little, or took the comments the wrong way. Honestly, I was less frustrated with you than with the whole story in general and how a meaningless story like this received so much traction in the mainstream media. I wondered if even people in the media studies program were falling for the same old partisan talking points and tricks... I understand your point of view more clearly now. I've been witnessing over and over again how even intelligent and well meaning people have been distracted from the real issues by the corporate media. So I took things the wrong way and I apologize. I guess I may have been a bit over zealous in trying to get the truth out about this latest non-story. I'm looking forward not only to working together but also being good friends.