Exclusive! Way too many Obama TV exclusives this week
There was a time when exclusive meant special, as in "not divided or shared with others."
In the news business "Exclusive!" traditionally means the organization claiming the "Exclusive!" is the only one with it. As in, nobody else has this. Or Exclusive!
But not this week! Oh, no! Here's just a sample:
Exclusive! "KATIE COURIC IS THE FIRST NETWORK ANCHOR TO TALK TO SENATOR BARACK OBAMA WHILE HE IS ABROAD"
"EXCLUSIVE: ABC News' Terry Moran to I'view Sen. Obama in Baghdad"
"ROUGH TRANSCRIPT OF OBAMA'S FIRST INTERVIEW ON INTERNATIONAL TRIP WITH LARA LOGAN -- ON FACE THE NATION - TODAY, SUNDAY, JULY 20"
"TOM BROKAW TO INTERVIEW DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SENATOR BARACK OBAMA IN A 'MEET THE PRESS' EXCLUSIVE ON SUNDAY, JULY 27"
Or as NewsBlues.com succinctly put it:
"ABC's Terry Moran landed an EXCLUSIVE interview with Barack Obama yesterday, one day after Lara Logan's EXCLUSIVE interview with Obama on CBS, and one day before Katie Couric's EXCLUSIVE interview with Obama, and two days before Chuck Gibson's EXCLUSIVE interview with Obama, and three days before Brian Williams' EXCLUSIVE interview."
Not to mention Tom Brokaw's Sunday "Meet the Press" Exclusive.
It's ridiculous, of course. A regular TV feeding frenzy. Almost every....
...single thing about the freshman senator this week has been not just exclusive. But Exclusive!
How exclusive can anything be if everyone has one?
Isn't the point of exclusive country clubs, for instance, to keep some people out?
Let's get something clear: Barack Obama, like every other presidential candidate, WANTS to talk in public and get on television. They'll do almost anything to get on television.
Why do you think they have these public forums? And plant questions there? Or go out in the middle of some German platz with people who can't vote over here? Or serve french fries at a drive-in?
Or fly half the night to get up at dawn and chat cheerily with a boneheaded local news anchor about the exact same obvious things they talked about with the late-news anchor in some other place last night?
These candidates will talk to 2-year-olds in strollers in hopes it will look good to the pushing parent and maybe get them photographed. They'd talk to cadavers if it would get them on TV.
So it's no big Exclusive accomplishment to get a presidential candidate on TV. It's free. And millions watch.
All the super-hyped exposure this week is very useful for the Obama campaign, of course. Maybe helps it close that stubborn 30% "commander in chief" gap in the polls with Sen. John McCain.
He was the exclusive major party candidate left campaigning in the old U.S.A. this week while Obama ex post facto found and campaigned in foreign lands, although he'd already announced his findings before leaving.
But absolutely nothing has been exclusive this week.
And you read that here Exclusively!
-- Andrew Malcolm
With a hat tip to our not-too-old buddy, Merv Block, whose fought so hard so long as the standard-bearer of standards in broadcast writing.
Photo credit: CNN