February 26, 2013

"As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all — especially our young people."

After Michelle Obama got criticized for horning in on the Oscars, her communications director issues that as a response.

I loathe that kind of PR — so saccharine and insincere. Look at all the assertions crammed into that sentence. 1. MO is a movie lover. 2. MO was honored. 3. MO was honored as a movie lover. 4. MO presented the award in order to celebrate the artists. 5. Hollywood movie people are artists. 6. Artists do art for the purpose of inspiring everybody. 7. Hollywood movies are made for the purpose of inspiring people. 8. Hollywood movies actually succeeding in inspiring all of us. 9. Young people are especially inspired by movies.

It's such an inane load of nonsense that it seems low and peevish of me to point out so many distinct elements. It was only ever intended to waft over you as a vague fog of a feeling that something appropriately lofty and bland has been said. That's the only relevant meaning.

Oh, wait. Look at this. Something else is being said. We have here a professor of women’s history from Ohio University who has delved into the study of First Ladies. This comes not from the PR department but from academia. Professor Katherine Jellison says: "I get the feeling that she is for the first time maybe really relaxing and enjoying her celebrityhood."

For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my celebrityhood...

116 comments:

Tom said...

Why does Mrs Obama have or need a communications director?

AllenS said...

Wouldn't this be a proper time for a celebritney tag?

BJK said...

Do we have to make a big deal out of this? In terms of left-wing ideology seeping out of a Hollywood award show, this was relatively tame.

Yes, it was an annoying reminder to the almost half of the country that didn't vote for her husband. No, it didn't add anything to the event. Can't we just leave it at that?

It's not like she gave a speech on gun control, or any manner of policy. There's nothing worth being outraged about here, so far as I can tell.

Just accept that it's a windmill; don't tilt at it and play into liberal stereotypes of a conservative.

Humperdink said...

MO forget to end her spiel with "Let 'em eat cake".

machine said...

Jeebus....still whining about this?

Darrell said...

The Obamas are always watching movies--except when Barack is out shooting the skeet. I'm sure Michelle got one of those $40,000 goody bags, like the others involved did. Good for her! She fresh off from solving the Nation's childhood obesity epidemic according to that one expert last week. Time for her to inspire kids to be useless Lefty cocksuckers making the money for nothing and getting their chicks for free. She gives back. Take it.

Bob Ellison said...

On behalf of all people whose names rhyme with "Jellison", I disavow that craptastic statement by the Ohio U. professor.

rhhardin said...

The message was that Michelle is an awesome celebrity.

If you think she's not, you resent the unjustified trick.

carrie said...

Plus she got to buy and wear another pretty dress for the occasion.

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan C said...

I don't care about the opinions of anyone who deliberately uses the word "celebrityhood".

AprilApple said...

It's all part of the worship game. The democrat party and the hollywood a-holes insist you worhsip them.
It never stops.

madAsHell said...

especially our young people

In other words......she did it for the children.
Yuck! The last refuge of a scoundrel.

traditionalguy said...

The Roman Emperor was not just a man doing a job. He was a god and was honored as a god and worshiped as the god of the Empire and served as the Pontifex Maximus for blessing all Imperial life.

So God Obama is toying with us using his personal propaganda power, but Michelle still ain't no Princess Di.

DADvocate said...

I loathe that kind of PR — so saccharine and insincere.

Amen.

For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my celebrityhood...

Michelle Obama is regressing into adolescence.

AprilApple said...

Up next on "The Media" - Where is Michelle Obama heading off to this week? Her secret vacation hideaway exposed! What new spring outfits will she be wearing? Find out next!

Icepick said...

7. Hollywood movies are made for the purpose of inspiring people.

Amour inspires me to die before I get so old I start slapping my wife around for getting old. Or maybe that I should off my wife BEFORE she gets old.

Inspiration like that?

8. Hollywood movies actually succeeding in inspiring all of us.

Wasn't Dorner inspired by Django Unchained?

9. Young people are especially inspired by movies.

Which explains why they're all drag racers: They've been inspired by the Fast and Furious movies! (When we were kids it was all Smokey and the Bandit and other Burt Reynolds driving cars really fast in the South movies that did it.)

EDH said...

The Obamas really seem to be over playing their hand right now, believing in their own invincible popularity.

They appear acting quite frivolously while making claims of impending doom, doom that is always somebody else's fault for not working hard enough or not being as fair minded as they are.

But the real bad news is only beginning to surface.

Icepick said...

Yes, it was an annoying reminder to the almost half of the country that didn't vote for her husband.

Way more than half didn't vote for him. It's not like turnout was 100%.

Nonapod said...

I tend to agree with BJK on this one. This is a non issue. It doesn't change my opinion on the First Lady, my opinion of her was very low already. It doesn't change my opinion on the Oscars or the general Hollywood culture (again low, low). And it doesn't change my opinion of the main stream media (also low). It's a pointless sideshow, an ill conceived PR move by this administration. The only thing that is relevant is how it may have effected the general perception of the Obama's by regular people. My guess is it will have very little effect.

AprilApple said...

How much does Michelle's communications director cost tax payers? Can't that be cut - so that a teacher in Crawford County Illinois can keep her job?

bgates said...

still whining about this,

he whined.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why does the First Lady.....ANY First Lady have "celebrityhood"?

Other than being the wife (or beard) of some guy who got elected to an office position that will last at worst 8 years.....there is no reason on earth to bestow celebrity status on the wife (or husband) for the mere fact of being related to the person occupying the office of President.

Now if she, or any other First Lady had actually done something of note that was a real personal accomplishment outside of just being the main squeeze of the President, something that would bestow a glow of celebrity on anyone else, that would be different. Michelle has no accomplishments of note.

Just existing isn't a reason for celebrity.....Paris Hilton, or Michelle Obama or Honey Boo Boo.

This cult of personality is a dangerous precursor to dictatorship style government. Very dangerous.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck Currie said...

It was like watching the Queen Mother with her Royal Guardsmen...so Imperial.

It was intrusive.

Sure, Hollywood is all left wing, but they're idiots, not our government. This was our government intruding on what was supposed to be a night of entertainment. The fact that it had to be kept secret shows you how intrusive it was...how many would have tuned out just prior to her appearance had they known...we already knew which movie was going to win.

And, exactly what part of "Django Unchained" did she find "inspiring".

And, what's all this crap about expanding children's imaginations through government funded, union approved school art programs...a child's world is nothing but imagination...just leave them alone...it's the one thing they figure out all on their own...my three year old grandson thinks he's a dinosaur...but you know, lefties just can't leave anything alone.

Cheers

Hagar said...

This administration does not have any dignity anyway, so, why not.

3eb65aa4-a506-11e1-baed-000bcdcb471e said...

Hollywood and DC go together like a hand in glove. Who cares if Obama participates and whatever statement she issues. I don't get the importance one way or the other.

She is a celebrity loved by the low information voter. Let her have the adulation. The Country is that serious about today's problems.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Plus she got to buy and wear another pretty dress for the occasion

WE got to buy a dress for her to wear for the occasion.

She looked like the Chrysler Building. All art deco-ish. Wide on the bottom and tapering as you go up the structure.

Bob Ellison said...

Nonapod said "The only thing that is relevant is how it may have effected the general perception of the Obama's by regular people."

This is the problem. Propaganda works. Slogans, heroic appearances, associations and endorsements, and all that stuff works. Witness Stalinism and Maoism. The general perception can be swayed. One must fight it.

Jay said...

7. Hollywood movies are made for the purpose of inspiring people.

Yeah Sin City, Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, American Psycho, Natural Born Killers, so, so inspiring.

Lem said...

Now the WH is going to have to put out a list of movies the first lady "loves".

Django Unchained.

AprilApple said...

Chuck Currie asks...
And, exactly what part of "Django Unchained" did she find "inspiring".[?]

That's an excellent question. I'd like to know too.

Chip S. said...

What Would Dolley Madison Do?

phx said...

This is the problem. Propaganda works. Slogans, heroic appearances, associations and endorsements, and all that stuff works.

Well go out and win the election for Republicans so you can make it work for you guys. It's not really shocking that office holders take advantage of their position through appearances, associations, endorsements and all that stuff that works. Complaining about the guys doing it gets to be overkill, esp. when it's not heavily political or advocating for anything other than the bland.

The bland leading the bland. Republicans who get all upset over it hurt their own cause, and I say that as a sincerely concerned troll.

Tibore said...

I said it in the previous thread: First person with no professional/business Hollywood associations to ever present the Best Picture award. That's simply inappropriate. And would be so if it were Laura Bush. The point is that a Best Picture award being presented by someone professionally outside the industry is bad. This is an industry showcase of industry professionals celebrating industry achievements. Bringing a political figure into it for no reason lowers both the entertainment and political professional fields.

phx said...

And btw saying movies inspire people is not the same as saying movies are made for the purpose of inspiring people.

phx said...

That's simply inappropriate.

But that's just your opinion. It's pretty obvious the mores and protocols surrounding the White House and popular culture are rapidly changing since Tricky Dick first said "sock it to me" on Laugh In.

Personally I'm not crazy about it either but you have to pick your battles.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wouldn't this be a proper time for a celebritney tag?"

No. She's not a celebritney. She's the First Lady. The appropriate tag is the one used: celebripolitics.

Bob Ellison said...

phx said "It's not really shocking that office holders take advantage of their position through appearances, associations, endorsements and all that stuff that works."

Imagine a FLOTUS who behaved with decorum and humility. Would she have done what Michelle Obama did?

The Drill SGT said...

The fundamental problem with our new ruling elites (Political, Artistic, Financial, Media, etc) is that they have forgotten the basic rules of leadership that were understood, by leaders of previous periods, e.g. the Founders, Captains of Industry, and hell, the Earl of Grantham.

"Noblesse Oblige"

noble position constrains to honorable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility

Michelle thinks she gets all the privilege and that it has no associated duty and behavior

My favorite example, in a bygone day, was the Queen Mum (EII's mother) durimg the blitz when asked whether she and the royals would flee the city of London for the country:

"The girls will not leave without me,
I will not leave the King, and
The King will never leave!"

The Gold Digger said...

Hollywood movies are made for the purpose of inspiring people.

Odd. I thought they were made so investors would get back more cash than they put in.

garage mahal said...

There was something sickening about the message sent with FLOTUS appearing surrounded by the military.

GrandpaMark said...

When we are aware that something offensive to us will be broadcast, we can avoid that broadcast.

Having Mrs. Obama sprung on us without warning was offensive to many for that reason.

Jane Fonda critics knew she would appear, and were prepared for it.

OTOH, I can't be the only person who almost expected another stupid joke when Mrs.O turned around.

phx said...

Imagine a FLOTUS who behaved with decorum and humility. Would she have done what Michelle Obama did?

I think all of our First Ladies have always acted with the appropriate decorum and humility. I'm proud of them all and I don't use them or their causes or their efforts as a tool to criticize the President I disagree with. For example I think Laura Bush and Michelle Obama are two of the finest First Ladies we've ever been blessed with.

Kelly said...

What bugged me the most were the military used as props behind Michelle Obama Kardashian. What were they doing there? She didn't introduce them or acknowledge them. The whole thing was bizarre.

cubanbob said...

As someone once said, DC is Hollywood for ugly people. That said, of all the things to criticize DC and Hollywood for, this is at the bottom of the barrel.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

In January 1980, when the Canadian Caper freeing the U.S. diplomats took place, Michelle was only 16. Perhaps she was also proud of her country in February, when the U.S. hockey team scored the miracle on ice against the Soviets at Lake Placid.

Lots to be proud of before she became an adult. That remark was always just a back-handed slap at Bill Clinton anyway.

edutcher said...

And exactly how did we know she's a movie lover?

She doesn't go around quoting scenes from "My Dinner With Andre".

Besides, the Os are sooo elegant and sophisticated (just ask them), who could believe they do something as plebian as watch movies?

It's the sort of thing Willie Whitewater did.

BJK said...

Yes, it was an annoying reminder to the almost half of the country that didn't vote for her husband.

The way things are looking, once all the vote fraud investigations come to light, that may not be even a fantasy.

traditionalguy said...

The Roman Emperor was not just a man doing a job. He was a god and was honored as a god and worshiped as the god of the Empire and served as the Pontifex Maximus for blessing all Imperial life.

So God Obama is toying with us using his personal propaganda power, but Michelle still ain't no Princess Di.


Or Messalina, for that matter.

phx said...

That's simply inappropriate.

But that's just your opinion. It's pretty obvious the mores and protocols surrounding the White House and popular culture are rapidly changing since Tricky Dick first said "sock it to me" on Laugh In.


He was a private citizen at the time, genius.

I think Laura Bush and Michelle Obama are two of the finest First Ladies we've ever been blessed with.

I think Laura and Barbara Bush are two of the finest First Ladies we've ever been blessed with.

FIFY

Amexpat said...

The Oscars is a high profile event for not only an important US industry, but also for the image of the US worldwide. That image adds a lot of value to US products and promotes tourism to the US.

So I don't see what the fuss here is about. As the wife of the head of state of the US, Mrs. Obama is doing one of her job functions, promoting US business interests.

Chuck Currie said...

"It's pretty obvious the mores and protocols surrounding the White House and popular culture are rapidly changing since Tricky Dick first said "sock it to me" on Laugh In."

So we did.

Lesson learned.

Cheers

Titus said...

I agree with BJK. It was a gross spectacle but whatever.

Drago said...

garage: "There was something sickening about the message sent with FLOTUS appearing surrounded by the military."

What message was that?

It certainly wasn't anything related to the military.

The FLOTUS didn't even mention them.

Of course, as someone who never served, it's not surprising that you are incapable of seeing anything inappropriate in the use of military personnel (unacknowledged) as a backdrop for a non-military and solely political purpose.

Rusty said...

bgates said...
still whining about this,

he whined.



Shhhh. He's just a couple of chromosomes shy of being a real boy.

William said...

I also vote with BJK. There was something wrong about her appearance, and there would be something wrong with getting too annoyed by her appearance.....The FLOTUS should have the kind of serene elevation that floats above petty quarrels. The Queen should not judge beauty pageants, and the FLOTUS should not participate in Hollywood award ceremonies. That said, let the venality of the act speak for itself.

garage mahal said...

Of course, as someone who never served, it's not surprising that you are incapable of seeing anything inappropriate in the use of military personnel (unacknowledged) as a backdrop for a non-military and solely political purpose.

Read my post again brainiac.

jacksonjay said...


I am anxiously awaiting Barry's March Madness picks on ESPN!

The Drill SGT said...

Drago,

I give GM the benefit of the doubt on his military comment. I thought he meant it was an inappropriate use of the military to lend stature to an otherwise tawdry scene...

YMMV

Drago said...

garage: "Read my post again brainiac."

I did.

I was operating off my experience with your comments in the past and, in this case, I thought you were attempting a parody of what many on the right have been saying.

Upon reflection, I didn't allow for the possibility that you were speaking without pretense.

So I missed it.

And I retract my earlier criticism of you.

garage mahal said...

I give GM the benefit of the doubt on his military comment. I thought he meant it was an inappropriate use of the military to lend stature to an otherwise tawdry scene...

Precisely. The marriage of political power & Hollywood with a military backdrop for no other apparent reason other than sending a message that you don't dare criticize FLOTUS is truly grotesque. Obama has shown an ugly side of himself lately that I don't appreciate. The release of the skeet shooting pic and the taunting of skeptics was childish and wrong. Obama is either clueless or the job has gotten to his head.

Cedarford said...

The woman that got into Princeton despite mediocre SATs on black skin and the fact that her brother was THE B-Ball star there who boosters could not reward her brother directly so they got her a full ride in..
Nice deal if he really liked her getting a full ride seat over 10K in an envelope at the time...

Then Hahhhhvuud on skin and gender bonus points and her Ivy League psychology degree.

Then off to white shoe law firm Sidley..where Ooooops!! she failed to be able to pass the bar on two occasions and when she finally passed the Illinois Bar was a bad attorney..but the Sidley folks sort of knew she was a 25 watt bulb in a firm of 125 watt bulbs and above by the 2nd bar exam...
Then it was how to gracefully get rid of her while not alienating the real star they were cultivating - and with Avner Mizvah and the Harvard Club, cultivating as a talent they saw as bigger than Jesse Jackson in the future.
The intros had already gotten Barack a light work sinecure with U of Chicago through the billionaire progressive Jewish families that controlled the U of Chicago Board.

So phone calls were made and the "Trailing spouse" was put under a past "Powers that Be"mentoring project, Valerie Jarretts, wing.

Then a year with Jarrett's tutelage in "how Chicago works"..then time enough had past for the Billionaire Crown and Pritzger families, along with the mere 650 million net worth Klutzniks to have set up a cushy high pay low hours no skills needed sinecure at U of Chicago.

Unlike Hillary or Barbara Bush or Lady Bird or Jackie or Eleanor - there really isn't that much "there" with Michelle. No gravitas. No high level intellect. Not even charisma besides her big arms.

She is a woman of little accomplishment besides having her ticket punched by mentors all her life and by hooking up with a star the powerful and moneyed sought to cultivate and control as the next Jesse.

She is unfortunately possessed of a huge ego, huge insecurity while wanting to be the Star. Thinks she should be the co-star with Obama.
Thinks she deserves to be in the top tier of 1st ladies but doesn't merit it anymore than Mary Todd Lincoln did...

So we are treated to her desperate search for the spotlight, for attention, to vacation like a true queen, to preen before fawning paid staff and celebrity and Hollywood mogul and Green energy financier supplicants who treat her nice just to get closer to the glow of The Black Messiah..

Sad.

Colonel Angus said...

Precisely. The marriage of political power & Hollywood with a military backdrop for no other apparent reason other than sending a message that you don't dare criticize FLOTUS is truly grotesque. Obama has shown an ugly side of himself lately that I don't appreciate. The release of the skeet shooting pic and the taunting of skeptics was childish and wrong. Obama is either clueless or the job has gotten to his head.

Assuming this is a serious critique of the President, I'm amazed the aforementioned is what it took to put you over the edge. Compared to his previous term, this is petty.

Cedarford said...

Amexpat said...
The Oscars is a high profile event for not only an important US industry, but also for the image of the US worldwide. That image adds a lot of value to US products and promotes tourism to the US.

So I don't see what the fuss here is about. As the wife of the head of state of the US, Mrs. Obama is doing one of her job functions, promoting US business interests


Yeah, thats the ticket!

It's Michelle, just slaving away at lavish parties, trips abroad where she is so busy helping America and commerce with her efforts that she barely has time for eating fatcakes or having Spanish royalty kissing her hand.

The so called "vacations" that are actually Michelle working her big butt off - trying to resurrect the American economy in Hawaii, Martha's Vineyard and Aspen. Showing up in Bigscreen with soldiers in tuxedos - because she ONLY wants to benefit American business and the American public!

Jay said...


So I don't see what the fuss here is about. As the wife of the head of state of the US, Mrs. Obama is doing one of her job functions, promoting US business interests.


Really?

Can you link us to the First Lady job description?

I'd like to read all about it.

Thanks.

ricpic said...

Michelle, from the administration that doesn't defend embassies, giving an award to a film that recounts the saving of embassy personnel. Or are we not allowed to notice what an oblivious ass she is?

EMD said...

Ohio University sucks.

Amexpat said...

The so called "vacations" that are actually Michelle working her big butt off - trying to resurrect the American economy in Hawaii, Martha's Vineyard and Aspen.

Two different things. IMO Michelle should vacation in the US and generate publicity for US destinations.

Her handing out an Oscar got a lot internationally media attention and helps the US.

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
I give GM the benefit of the doubt on his military comment. I thought he meant it was an inappropriate use of the military to lend stature to an otherwise tawdry scene...

Precisely. The marriage of political power & Hollywood with a military backdrop for no other apparent reason other than sending a message that you don't dare criticize FLOTUS is truly grotesque. Obama has shown an ugly side of himself lately that I don't appreciate. The release of the skeet shooting pic and the taunting of skeptics was childish and wrong. Obama is either clueless or the job has gotten to his head.

2/26/13, 11:27 AM

One of the rare occasions where I agree with you. It is grotesque. My heart be still but for once I won't rag totally on the Obama's. This appears to be an effort either by accident or intent to recreate the "camelot" effect of the JFK era. Young president and first lady, the kids etc. However bad a president Obama has been and still is unlike JFK he hasn't turned the White House in to a whore house like JFK did. While I have no doubt he is corrupt and in time it will be exposed, he is pop warner league compared to LBJ and JFK (by virtue of inheritance) and for all of his and hers political faults they are good parents.

jacksonjay said...


garage sez:
Obama is either clueless or the job has gotten to his head.

I would use the word classless instead of clueless.

B said...

I don't see what the issue is other than the military angle.

No one already enamored of the Obama's is going to be more or less enamored because of this. People who have seen through the Obamas from the getgo aren't going to see through them any clearer. I suspect that if anything this a slight and acceptable loss of public respect for the Obamas from the segment of the public neither enamored of nor despising the Obamas beforehand. Certainly an acceptable second term cost for rewarding Harvey Weinstein.

As for the military backdrop...I attribute that to the sequestration fight. Its a subtle (or not so subtle as it turns out) staged visual of military support etc.

Amexpat said...

Can you link us to the First Lady job description?

There is no official job description, but by tradition First Ladies function as the wife of the Head of State. How they choose to carry that out varies. Promoting US business and US "culture" overseas is, from a tax payers prospective, worthy.

For an analogy look to what the British Royal family does. They regularly promote British products and their very presence boosts tourism. Even the Queen plugged the James Band franchise by appearing in a James Bond video that was shown at the recent Olympics.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

For an analogy look to what the British Royal family does

The President of the United States is a temporary JOB, not a hereditary monarchy. You get elected to the JOB and you get fired from the JOB or you retire at the end of your two terms.

And while it would seem to be one of the ancillary functions of the JOB of President and associated family to promote the interests of the United States, the mere act of being related to the President does not make you a CELEBRITY or make you competent on anything. Being the wife or husband of anyone, much less the President, doesn't make you any better, prettier, more competent or anything else.

IF we concede that the JOB of the First Lady is to promote the interests and industry of the United States, then I suggest that she do that and quit spending MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars on staff, excessive vacations in other parts of the world. Instead of swaning around like they think they are royalty, the Obama's should be working at their JOBS and LESS time vacationing, skiing, golfing, appearing on stupid television shows and all of the other luxurious wasteful things they are doing.

They might actually try to lead by example.

jacksonjay said...


The Obama mention sacrifice often. Is sacrifice a quality that we look for in followers, leaders or both?

ALP said...

Words cannot express how disgusted I am at the unholy coupling of Hollywood celebrities and politicians, but I will try.

If I was looking to break into show business, I would hang on every word, every utterance on that subject that came out of the mouth of a Hollywood celebrity. Because THAT is their area of expertise: entertainment.

If anything, the demands that show business makes on actors isolates them from any semblance of normal life. So we have the clueless in cahoots with the powerful.

Disgusting stuff.

Tibore said...

"phx said...
That's simply inappropriate.

But that's just your opinion. It's pretty obvious the mores and protocols surrounding the White House and popular culture are rapidly changing since Tricky Dick first said "sock it to me" on Laugh In."


I'm sorry, but that's too glib a response. Stating it as "simply my opinion" engenders a superficiality to my stance that it doesn't deserve as well as a legitimacy to the alternate side - inviting an unassociated outsider to present the highest award - that it hasn't earned.

The precedence has been that a Hollywood professional has presented Best Picture for over half a century. And it was changed for a most superficial reason: Political celebrity worship. If AMPAS and Hollywood in general want to maintain the dignity of their profession's biggest night and highest award, they cannot resort to cheapening it by having a winner receive the pinnacle reward of his or her professional lifetime from a stunt casted person who has zero ties whatsoever to the profession beyond mere adulation.

Any of the Academy Awards are honors from the Industry as a whole to well achieving professionals in the industry. Why would I want the honor representing fellow professionals be bestowed by a non-professional? It skirts the line of being a non-recognition. Especially in the case of a very well known figure like any of the First Ladies. Suddenly, the award presentation is not about the achievement or the professional who created it, but the person publicly bestowing it. The only saving grace here is that the award is clearly from the Academy.

The biggest letdown is that AMPAS did this to itself. The current Academy governing figures and studio heads (namely, Harvey Weinstein) couldn't be bothered to respect their own profession's precedent. In a broadcast that's supposed to represent AMPAS's stewardship of motion picture history.

There would be nothing wrong and everything dignified and right with the White House receiving the Best Picture winning production group at the White House. But they're not part of the industry. That doesn't earn them any legitimate spot in the ceremony.

"Personally I'm not crazy about it either but you have to pick your battles."

When it's a question of dignity and approriateness, it's a worthy battle to pick. Unfortunately, people will mistake it for an attack on Michelle Obama and make it political when it's really criticism of AMPAS's mishandling of their stewardship and Weinstein's intrusion of hero worship upon the event. But I don't know why I should remain silent on this when my opinion is indeed firm about it. It may not be anywhere near as important an issue as, health care, taxes, foreign relations... you name it, but none of that changes the fact that it's simply not right. And while I'd cringe at turning this into a real "battle" (i.e. petitions, protests, attempting to create Academy rules about who can and can't present, attempting to make rulesabout what the White House can and cannot allow in regards to personal invovlement,etc.), openly spending a couple of minutes of public discussion on it is a perfectly appropriate level of involvement. It doesn't interrupt business, and it gets the opinion out there for recognition and discussion.

Colonel Angus said...

As for the military backdrop...I attribute that to the sequestration fight. Its a subtle (or not so subtle as it turns out) staged visual of military support etc.

Which is ironic because if you ask any leftist if we are spending too much money on the military I'm confident you will get a resounding YES!

After all, that money could be better spent on teachers and firemen.

Amexpat said...

... the mere act of being related to the President does not make you a CELEBRITY

Wrong. For better or worse, being married to the president makes you a celebrity. You can put it to good use or bad use. I disagree with some of what Mrs. O has done, but I see nothing wrong with the Oscar stunt.

Colonel Angus said...

There is no official job description, but by tradition First Ladies function as the wife of the Head of State. How they choose to carry that out varies. Promoting US business and US "culture" overseas is, from a tax payers prospective, worthy.

I thought that's what we had a State Department and ambassadors for.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Wrong. For better or worse, being married to the president makes you a celebrity

Well, then...I guess we disagree on what the definition of celebrity is or what how you obtain that status.

Just breathing is not a reason for being celebrated. IMO....you need to actually do something of note or worthwhile.

Mitchell the Bat said...

"As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all — especially our young people."


I'd give her a pass if she sat through all of Cowboys and Aliens.

Jay said...

expat said...

For an analogy look to what the British Royal family does.


No, the British Royal family is not elected, and the US Commerce Department exists to do exactly what you're talking about. So do other federal departments.

So that is not an analogy in any manner, shape, or form.

Jay said...

Promoting US business and US "culture" overseas is, from a tax payers prospective, worthy.


The purpose of the Oscars is not to promote US culture overseas, nor was the First Lady's appearance at all relevant to US business.

You can stop spinning now. This line of thought is absurd.

Blue@9 said...

"especially young people."

You could append that to anything.

For the children!

"What's the matter, you hate children? Monster."

Herb said...

Violent Movies are perhaps one of the leading causes contributing to gun violance in our culture and the first lady was going to present an award to them?

Amexpat said...

I thought that's what we had a State Department and ambassadors for.

Of course, but they work under the President. For important matters the President should get involved. Both as head of government in being ultimately responsible for foreign affairs and as Head of State for state visits. I see nothing wrong if the First Lady helps out on the Head of State side of things.

furious_a said...

This is an industry showcase of industry professionals celebrating industry achievements. Bringing a political figure...

You assume that, under Obama Personality Cult, that there is space whatsoever between the Occupant of the White House, his arms-length political appendages (ObFA, OrgFA, etc.) and the broader media culture.

You assume incorrectly.

furious_a said...

garage: There was something sickening about the message sent with FLOTUS appearing surrounded by the military.

Yes, garage, it was that Pres. Obama provided military backup for his wife on Oscar night but none for our diplomatic personnel in Benghazi on 9-11-12 night.

Dude wasn't ready for his 3AM call at 530PM. Sickening.

Basta! said...

"6. Artists do art for the purpose of inspiring everybody. 7. Hollywood movies are made for the purpose of inspiring people. 8. Hollywood movies actually succeeding in inspiring all of us."

These are such mawkish assumptions (I realize they're not yours, Althouse), asserted by those who consider the intention of *doing good* to be the most worthy motivation.

I've always thought that artists try to make art primarily because they feel compulsion to that end. The sole inspiration I might expect from any artwork would be to inspire me to try to achieve a similar end.

But movies, come on! It's a medium of entertainment that occasionally produces artful moments. I can't imagine coming out of a movie feeling *inspired*. Inspired to do what?

But maybe that's just me. Does anyone here have a movie that they would say inspired them and, if so, inspired them to what, exactly?

furious_a said...

Then a year with Jarrett's tutelage in "how Chicago works"..then time enough had past for the Billionaire Crown and Pritzger families, along with the mere 650 million net worth Klutzniks to have set up a cushy high pay low hours no skills needed sinecure at U of Chicago.

Mrs. Obama's $312K/yr no-show patronage job at U Chicago was so critical that the U. hospital elimninated it when she decamped with her husband to DC.

Amexpat said...

No, the British Royal family is not elected, and the US Commerce Department exists to do exactly what you're talking about. So do other federal departments.So that is not an analogy in any manner, shape, or form.

Wrong about the elected vs hereditary distinction. Some countries have an elected head of state (many like Germany and Israel separate it from the head of government) others, with a royal family, have a hereditary head of state. It's the same job, just a different way of filling it.

Yes, the US and other countries, have a Commerce Dept, or something similar, and Heads of States often work with them.

Lydia said...

I think it's time for another first for the First Lady -- her own TV show. Yes. It could be on MSNBC. Axelrod's there now, and Gibbs.

A government/media seamless blend. That's the ticket. Because they can.

Cedarford said...

Any of the Academy Awards are honors from the Industry as a whole to well achieving professionals in the industry. Why would I want the honor representing fellow professionals be bestowed by a non-professional? It skirts the line of being a non-recognition. Especially in the case of a very well known figure like any of the First Ladies. Suddenly, the award presentation is not about the achievement or the professional who created it, but the person publicly bestowing it.

=================
That sort of explains the unease past just the use of the military people as photo op props.
That it's just inappropriate to have some politicians wife outside that world be a presenter of accomplishment UNLESS Hollywood has gotten so perverted that they see Michelle and Obama mainly as actors and celebs themselves.

Now, its not like the Academy Awards have not had "hot celebs" with no shot of their own of ever getting an Oscar in the past....but they are the talentless stars of no real talent WITHIN the industry!

The public unease is similar to having Michelle be the one awarding high military honors at White House ceremonies, awarding a Nobel Prize. Or sent abroad to coronate some minor African king. What elevated her?

Or worse, the White House allowing Leonard DiCaprio or David Geffen or Spielberg to hand out real Medal of Honors or George Clooney brought in to handle Green Energy payouts....if the White House thought the Obamas and Hollywood celebs are interchangable.

Mike said...

Remember when they had Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan give out Oscars from the White House?

Me either.

So it just seemed odd to have her there. One veteran LA radio reported who covers the beat said everyone in the press suite gave a collective "WTH?" when she appeared on the big screen. Seeing or hearing the First Family is just so...tiresome.

gutless said...

Thanks to Wikipedia here is a listing of the key staff working for Mrs. Obama in what is called the office of the First Lady:Key staff, current (Mrs. Obama)

Chief of Staff to the First Lady: Tina Tchen

Deputy Chief of Staff to the First Lady: Melissa Winter

Deputy Chief of Staff to the First Lady: David Medina

Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady: Kristina Schake

Deputy Communications Director for the First Lady: Semonti Stephens

Press Secretary for the First Lady: Hannah August

Director of Policy and Projects: Jocelyn Frye

Deputy Director of Policy and Projects: Trooper Sanders

Director of Scheduling and Advance: Franny Starkey Sanguin

Deputy Director of Scheduling & Events: Jennifer Goodman

Special Assistant for Scheduling &Traveling Aide: Kristen Jarvis

Associate Counsel to the President and Counsel to the First Lady:

Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary: Jeremy Bernard

Deputy White House Social Secretary: Ebs Burnough

Deputy White House Social Secretary: Joe Reinstein

Deputy White House Social Secretary: Samantha Tubman

Rather a pudgy roster for someone the "celebrityhood" of whom is that she is married to a high ranking government official. Your tax dollars at work.

Baron Zemo said...

I look forward to the First Lady delivering the Publisher Clearinghouse winners checks.

It would be great if she went with wounded vets.

What a photo op!

Kirk Parker said...

Garage,

"Obama has shown an ugly side of himself lately that I don't appreciate."

Lately? LATELY????

Dude, welcome to the club--but you're about 5 years late!

Phil 3:14 said...

from the article:

But Elizabeth Mehren, a professor of journalism at Boston University who covered first ladies from Nancy Reagan to Hillary Rodham Clinton, viewed the appearance in more personal terms for Obama. “She had to repackage herself as not being the angry Harvard law graduate,” Mehren said. “She had to become Betty Crocker. But now she occupies a pedestal of her own.”

Was MO ever Betty Crocker?

Tibore said...

"furious_a said...
This is an industry showcase of industry professionals celebrating industry achievements. Bringing a political figure...

You assume that, under Obama Personality Cult, that there is space whatsoever between the Occupant of the White House, his arms-length political appendages (ObFA, OrgFA, etc.) and the broader media culture.

You assume incorrectly. "


You characterize me incorrectly; I know full well that the distance is being eroded. Eroded purposefully and for no other reason than blind adulation. It irritates me. And that is PRECISELY one of the reasons I'm sounding off: Specifically because the industry is choosing to diminish what little gap there is.

edutcher said...

Herb said...

Violent Movies are perhaps one of the leading causes contributing to gun violance in our culture and the first lady was going to present an award to them?

Not true, actually. Those studies were rigged.

Far more honest ones have found home environment far more influential.

And that can be blamed on the Demos and the media.

Colonel Angus said...

I see nothing wrong if the First Lady helps out on the Head of State side of things.

I don't disagree, however I think you are overestimating her marketability to Hollywood. I.just see it as another example of the look at meeee!' persona that she has exhibited since arriving at the White House.

Perhaps first ladies are assigned celebrity status but I that's something she has taken to a new level, and with undisguised relish. Standing in her resplendent evening gown flanked by her 'palace guard' certainly gives off an imperial vibe.

Amexpat said...

Any of the Academy Awards are honors from the Industry as a whole to well achieving professionals in the industry. Why would I want the honor representing fellow professionals be bestowed by a non-professional?

I could perhaps see that for some of the technical awards, but when it comes to best picture it's about publicity and promoting the industry. If you're the producer of the film you'd be happy for any additional publicity as that usually translates to revenue.

The public unease is similar to having Michelle be the one awarding high military honors at White House ceremonies, awarding a Nobel Prize

Except for the Peace Prize, all the Nobel Prizes are awarded by the Swedish Head of State, the King. Trust me, despite what you may think of Mrs. O, she compares favorably to the Swedish King.

The President hands out military honors in his capacity as Commander in Chief, a function that the First Lady shouldn't share in, so I would react if a First Lady did so. But I see nothing wrong with a First Lady handing out civilian awards/honors.

Valentine Smith said...

All I could see during the presentation was the weird looking woman soldier in the background grinning like she knows something the rest of us fools don't.

Likening the endomorphic Mrs. Obama to the Chrysler building is hilarious though I prefer the cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn. I say I say people! I say people the winner is ... The Chillun!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Does anyone here have a movie that they would say inspired them and, if so, inspired them to what, exactly?

Pay It Forward. Smarmy movie, I know, but it made me more aware of the idea of doing deeds without the expectation of reward. Do it just because it is right. Karma

The Drill SGT said...

Kirk Parker said...
Dude, welcome to the club--but you're about 5 years late!


lighten up Kirk. If a small light has come on for GM and he's putting his nose into the Big Tent of Obama skeptics, there is no reason to kick him in the mouth. Show him around and explain how Jack Lew got a Citi retention bonus, only if he went to work for the Feds. $800k. a bit more in bonus for going to the Feds than he'll ever make as SecTreas ($191k/yr)

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I agree with the writer from the Onion.

Wait, she wasn't referring to First Lady Camacho?

William Chadwick said...

I just thought La Michelle's appearance at the Oscars was Disney's sneaky way of plugging their upcoming new STAR WARS movies, by bringing in a Wookie.

Heigh-yo!

JAL said...

"celebrityhood"

Do these people ever listen to themselves?

And the American taxpayer pays this person's salary?

I call an easy Sequester cut.

Renee said...

First ladies always do these types of appearances.


It speaks more poorly of the Oscars then it does of Michelle Obama. Someone asked her to present the Best Picture Award, she accepted. It doesn't hurt her. It hurts the credibility of the Oscars.

DADvocate said...

First ladies always do these types of appearances.

Really? Name one such appearance by a First Lady at the Oscars, Tonys, Country Music Awards, Grammys, etc.

Granny Jan said...

The Stepford Soldiers standing behind her made me ill. I made a 34 second video on that:

Michelle Obama "You Guys Make a Pretty Good Photo Op"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgp_e10vn7w

Renee said...

Michelle Obama was at Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards.

"But despite Taylor's own superstardom, the pop singer was starstruck when she took the stage with Michelle. "I've always wanted to meet you! This is amazing. I'm so honored to get... to be receiving this award from the First Lady of the United States -- I'm freaking out."

So were we, considering how good the first lady looked! No pantsuits or broaches here -- for an event that included pop music, green slime and guests like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, the first lady chose a youthful outfit: metallic skinny jeans by Helmut Lang, a sequined v-neck top by Wes Gordon and black pointy-toes pumps."

DADvocate said...

Michelle Obama was at Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards.

Jeez, you can't even get away fromt the prima donna at Nickelodeon. Which First Lady besides MO has done this shit at significant media awards shows?

Renee said...

Michelle Obama also made an appearance on iCarly.

Tibore said...

"Amexpat said...

I could perhaps see that for some of the technical awards, but when it comes to best picture it's about publicity and promoting the industry.


And yet, as I've pointed out over and over, they've had an industry professional hand it out for over 70 years.

Why are you folks here trying to tell me that there are different rules for the Academy Awards and the Best Picture award? That's actually wrong; there are no rules at all. Instead, what's there is a traditional set of attitiudes and practices. A set which weren't imposed by AMPAS or the studios or any governing body, but which evolved naturally from their decades of choices. Which has it's own weight. And that should be respected, because it's obviously been the attitude for - again - over 70 years. They've done it voluntarily without needing a rule to enforce it or even needing to think about it. They've developed a practice making it a tradition that now has the weight of all those decades of history behind it. And they threw it away for stunt casting.

It shows that, for all of Hollywood's talk of respect for its own history, they'll sell that history short in order to feel good. This is why they deserve to be called out on it.

phx said...
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madeleine said...
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madeleine said...

The first commenter asked why MO needs a Communications Director. Isn't it obvious? Someone has to keep track of all the lies.

Ms. Schake has been facilitating MO's propagandistic use of the military and military families for several years now. Neither she nor Mrs. Obama has any respect or real knowledge of military values or military family life. It's all a sham to cover up the fact that the Obama administration despises the military.

Ms. Schake has strong ties to Hollywood. She was Rob Reiner's perosnal assistant, worked for the mayor of LA, did PR for Maria Shriver. Her Hollywood PR firm established the group that fought the results of the Prop. 8 vote (hiring Ted Olsen to plead the case).