The Hill writes Obama gaffe story despite a lack of gaffes

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

A couple things are goofy about this Bridget Johnson piece, in which she seems to be auditioning for a gig at Politico. First, many of the examples she sites as Obama "gaffes" aren't actually gaffes. And second, she suggests it's the new media landscape of "Instant Internet communication and an explosion in political commentary," that has put the new (Democratic) president under such a media microscope.

Excuse me, but I'm pretty sure when President Bush left office two months ago the Internet, as well as the 24-hour news cycle, existed. So why the double standard for Obama?

But back to the gaffes. Here's how Johnson lays them out at the top of the story:

Last week was notable for budget battles and a new Afghanistan strategy, rather than for headline-hogging gaffes, although the president didn't escape a few media jeers for his reliance on a giant TV screen in place of his trademark teleprompter to feed him his lines at Tuesday's primetime press conference.

His careful responses to reporters' questions, in an appearance that many commentators branded as boring, didn't wander into such hot-button territory as he found himself in the previous week when he told Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" that his bowling skills were akin to those of the Special Olympics.

I can only find one actual gaffe; the ill-advised Special Olympics comment. But how is using a large teleprompter an embarrassing miscue? The pointless issue is only a topic of debate because the press corps wants to make it one. Same with Obama's "boring" press conference. Suddenly, if presidents are articulate and philosophical while discussing the pressing issues of the day at a White House press conference the press dubs that a blunder?

The Hill published an article about Obama's gaffes. But in truth the miscues often cited are errors in judgment made by the press. Sort of ironic, no?

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