The Washington Times - June 19, 2009, 10:21AM


“Obama Kills A Fly.” “FLOTUS In The Garden.” “The Obama Diet.” These aren’t tabloid tales. These are a few of the headlines - just from one day - by journalists who regularly cover the Obama administration. Is this really what Americans want to know about our commander-in-chief? Why does anyone (except left wing extremists at PETA) care that the president killed a fly? Was it part of some secret strategy to combat nuclear proliferation? Was the fly masking a predator drone from North Korea?


Also growing underfoot - that garden.White House photo

A fan of organic food and healthy eating, admittedly, I do like that First Lady Michelle Obama has installed an organic garden on the lawn of the White House and is cultivating young gardeners along the way. Kudos. But we don’t need to know every time she plants a pea! It’s not a national crisis. Unless you tell us that we’re in the middle of a famine and Mrs. Obama plans to share her bounty with the rest of the country. So why is the national press “reporting” on this with near-weekly garden updates? It is absolutely mind boggling, if not absurd. There are more pressing issues and affairs (energy, health care, a economic meltdown) that deserve more scrutiny and airtime.

Okay, we all love a feel good story every now and then (emphasis on now and then.) People want to feel somehow connected to the White House. After all, those girls (Sasha and Malia) are just so darn cute. And that dog! Well the White House today announced the new Bo baseball card, so you too can now bask in the glow of the beloved pooch (or find one more reason to change the channel.) 

Good feelings and my amusement at the fly murder outrage aside I, for one, am ready to upchuck. I don’t recall reading ad nausea about the “Bush Diet,” “Bush Stomps Out Roach,” or “Lady Bush Picks Lillies.” (Though we did read mocking accounts of Bush choking on a pretzel.) Some of this might even be mildly entertaining if the media at least pretended to care about the glaring double standard. But I mean how much Kool-Aid can one outlet drink? This is not to suggest that they should beat up on the president at every turn (as they did with President Bush) but the honeymoon is over. Let’s return some objectivity to covering the presidency. Can we at least go a week without hearing about the color of Michelle’s shoes or which condiment the commander-in-chief puts on his burger?

Comedian Bill Maher, who I don’t quote ever, was on to something when he told Obama the “star” to get to work as Obama “the president.” I will add to that with a message for my colleagues in the press: End the love affair! File for divorce or at least a temporary separation and get on with covering the business of doing business for the people of the United States.

-Tara Wall is a news anchor and political analyst at the Washington Times and editor of