Lots of American presidents liked to pretend they didn’t dwell on the news — too busy attacking big problems for such a trifling. But then they would reveal themselves as news junkies (See 1992 presidential campaign and George H.W. Bush’s slogan: Annoy the Media — Re-Elect Bush).
President Barack Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, publicly boasted about ignoring most of what the press wrote and said about him. In reality, he had read the major newspapers by 6:45 a.m., while not paying much attention to television news.
Which brings us to Obama. He is making no bones about being a real news hound — even while holding the craven media mavens at arm’s length, as shown by his having avoided holding solo news conferences for seven months until a surprise appearance on Monday.
His news predilection is shown in small ways, like his recent speech in Tampa, Florida.
“I do also have to just mention — I’m going to mention — you know I love you in the media, but I will mention this little aspect of our media. Our friends with the pads and the pencils — last week I went to Ohio and I started saying what I’m saying now, which is, I’m going to fight for your future. And they got all worked up. They got worked up last week. They said, is he trying to change his message; is he trying to get more populist; is this a strategy that he’s pursuing to boost this, that and the other; is this something new?”