Obama and Harwood and Kanye West

So here’s a clip from CNN that John Harwood referenced yesterday.  The question:  is this news?  Why did CNN cover this story?  Should they have run this video and made this a news story?  What does the fact that CNN went with this story say about the role of the media and government today?



9 responses to “Obama and Harwood and Kanye West”

  1. robhrabchak4 says :

    One of the ideas that John Harwood also brought up yesterday was that a news organization has multiple roles to play, and one of them is as a business corporation. Because of this, it makes sense for a tv show to play an otherwise meaningless story like this. If people wanted just the straight news, than something like this wouldn’t wouldn’t show up. The shows that chose to play this clip faced trade-offs and decided that showing the clip was worth it. On one hand they could choose not to play it pay for it as the other tv networks benefit from their playing of it, or they could choose to play it and sacrifice some of their relationship with the white house and any of their viewers that would prefer to watch “real” news. The media will play whatever their viewers want them to show, so any change of the current system would have to come from them.

  2. roryblock1 says :

    CNN most likely covered this story because of competition. “soft news” is more popular now because their are more shows and therefore more competition. This should not have been a news story, because it isn’t really something important happening right now. This goes to show that the media these days is, as always, money motivated. But the difference from before is that covering your average “hard news” stories is not enough. In order to get money, you need to attract people to your show. To do this, soft news is (deemed) necessary.

  3. Crawford4 says :

    News is just a pair of newly made Jordan shoes. Ok i know that its cheap leather with a bad paint job yet i still wake up early and pay a crazy mark up. Something is worth what people will pay. News is news if people want to listen. This is news because its funny. Would I have been disappointed if i wasn’t aware of this? Yes. Its hilarious, the way he said it reminds me he is a normal guy. Because i want to see it, it should be reported on just like because i want to buy them Jordan’s should be made. Once a topic comes up people don’t want to hear about whether it is out of disgust or moral standards for what should be made publicly known, the Media will know where to stop but as of now they should let the American people know, see, and hear what they want to hear.

  4. 4thomas says :

    I agree with Ford. Obama calling Kanye West a “jackass” garnished more attention from the media, then the actual meaningful interview itself. Is this a reflection of poor media? No, it is a reflection of our society. The majority of people today care more about the president calling a rap superstar a “jackass”, then they would about what he has to say about our economy. The media feeds into what our society wants to hear. Whether the news is meaningful or just funny is less of the media’s decision and more based on what the people want to hear. The media has no choice but to deliver the news that people want to hear, and I am most certainly glad that this did not remain in the oval office.

  5. Carolyn4 says :

    After watching this video, it is clear that the media plays a huge role in politics, and in politician’s lives on a daily basis. Candidates and politicians have to watch what they say at every second in every day. The media is a constant fly in the room, always listening and waiting for a candidate to act in anyway informal or unprofessional, like President Obama. Literally within minutes of an event like this, the public is able to hear, read, or view endless versions of news covering the story. Is this such a bad thing though? I personally find it a) entertaining to see my president cracking jokes (as tom said) and b) important to see the politicians representing us acting like normally people. Someone once told me, the importance of your actions when you think you are alone are much greater than those when you are being watched. I think this really applies to the media. The media knows how to sneak into those nooks and crannies to capture hidden moments, quotes, and videos of the politicians in vulnerable states. Its entertaining, and important to see who these people really are behind the scenes.

  6. andreaj7 says :

    If we understand the definition of news as a report on a certain issue that is meant to inform the public, then this is news, but moreover, soft news. Although a bit concerning, President Obama’s “jackass” comment, as stated earlier, was more publicized than the actual interview. I have to admit that I did watch this CNN clip before hearing about it on our DC trip, but never heard about the content of the interview. It is clear that CNN ran this particular story in order to increase their viewership. Of course people are going to watch a clip of our President calling Kanye a jackass! It’s funny, and it makes the President seem more relatable. But I would like to disagree, however, with the notion that this story is a reflection of our society and what we really care about. If CNN, a major news network, is handing us this type of news story, we’re going to eat it up! But that doesn’t mean we have lost sight of the issues. In conclusion, the fact that CNN went with this story reinforces the idea that the media is an overwhelmingly important factor in what kind of news we see (hard news or soft news).

  7. Nick4 says :

    Big news stations covering soft news like this is pretty ridiculous. Save this stuff for TMZ or Perez Hilton, because this isn’t politics. Stations like CNN, MSNBC and FOX should focus on actual news and not on gossip that they think their viewers would like. On that note, do the regular viewers of these stations actually want soft news like this? It seems to me like the people regularly tuning in to a political news station want political news, not this. It’s also surprising how big of an effect this had on Obama. Some news anchors even questioned his ability to run a country after this incident. It’s stupid. When I turn on the news, I want news, and I’m fairly confident most people feel the same way, so why do the stations still do it?

  8. thetuck1 says :

    I remember when this happened a few years ago. My mother and I sat in front of our computer and replayed this over and over again; we thought it was hilarious. That is the interesting thing; that although this story is soft news and truthfully does not have any political value, it is something that the people care about. That is the thing I remember the most about Obama’s career from that year (granted, back then I was a lot less knowledgeable about government/politics), and I suspect that a lot of people remember that much better than other news stories about Obama. Stories like this are driven by human interest, so while it may be true that this is soft news and perhaps should not be published for its lack of value, the fact that the population receives this kind of news so well and so eagerly keeps the news corporations producing such stories.

  9. Kalyn7 says :

    I think this is hilarious. Partly because it’s accurate. I think we can all agree that Kanye is a jackass. And frankly, I don’t care that Obama used this language. He’s a real person and I appreciate that. I agree with Tucker, this is soft news and really only valuable for its humor value.

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