Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hyping the President: "President Barack Obama To Make History By Coming On Jay Leno Tonight" (video)

ShivTube2009, with video from NBC (02:53):
Barack Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to appear on a late night chat show tomorrow when he is a guest of comedian and writer Jay Leno.

While most of the people on The Tonight show will promote a film or record, Mr Obama will be pushing his economic rescue plan for America.
Critics accused him of dumbing down the presidency and of blurring the line between politics and entertainment.
But White House press spokesman Robert Gibbs said the show provided a 'unique audience' for the President to get his message across.

'We don't look at it as a process of demonstrating the President's sense of humour,' he said.

Rather, it was a chance 'to explain the economic situation we are in'.

Mr Obama has attempted to use various outlets to get across the importance of his $787 billion stimulus package.
Leno's show has five million viewers each night, but NBC executives are hoping to double that figure for the 10-minute appearance of the President.

Mr Obama has appeared on the chat show before while a presidential candidate. Such appearances are seen as a potent tool in winning over voters.

It is also the chance for politicians to appear less serious by cracking jokes with the host.

Despite the problems facing the U.S., Mr Obama still retains huge popularity among Americans.

But his appearance with Leno has angered many political reporters. Magazine US News and World report carried the headline: 'Obama's Jay Leno Tonight gig will diminish his presidency.'

White House aides said the President was anxious to use other media, other than the traditional press corps, to get his message across.

The pre-recorded interview at NBC's Burbank studios will follow a 'town hall' style meeting the President is holding in Los Angeles.

The two-month-old Obama administration has already won passage of the $787 billion package aimed at lifting the Us economy out of recession.
But Mr Obama's record $3.55 trillion budget plan faces opposition from Republicans, and some Democrats, over its high costs and bold moves on healthcare, education and global warming.
Howie P.S.: David Gregory handles the story on "The Today Show."

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