The Entertainment President

funny-or-die-01_large_largeFor years, conservatives have puzzled over President Barack Obama’s continued personal popularity in the face of his dramatically uninspiring performance as commander-in-chief. Obama seems to inspire a bizarre personal loyalty among his advocates, particularly among young people who should by all rights be concerned with their fading futures and collapsing prospects. Why do his numbers remain so stubbornly mediocre?

The answer came Tuesday in the form of a ridiculous video cut by Obama with the help of “The Hangover” star Zach Galifianakis and the online outlet Funny or Die. Funny or Die is in the viral video business; it often features celebrities in bizarre skits designed to draw clicks. But Funny or Die also has a political agenda: In September, the Los Angeles Times reported that Funny or Die honcho Mike Farah had become an integral part of “the campaign to ensure the success of President Obama’s healthcare law.” Obama enlisted Farah in July 2013 during a meeting with Hollywood bigwigs in which Obama recruited his arts team to rally to the Obamacare cause.

The video, the latest in an ongoing series of episodes of a faux talk show titled “Between Two Ferns,” has Galifianakis interviewing Obama about Obamacare. The portly actor, best known for playing a moron in movies, asks Obama questions about whether he will miss winning at basketball when he is no longer president. Obama, on script, answers by getting testy with Galifianakis before pushing Obamacare with his usual lack of verve: “Healthcare.gov works great now. And millions of Americans have already gotten health care plans. And what we want is for people to know that you can get affordable health care.”

That wasn’t Obama’s only major media appearance this week.

Obama also introduced the Fox reboot of the miniseries “Cosmos,” explaining to Americans that hope and change could still be attained through science: “America has always been a nation of fearless explorers who dream big and reach farther than others might imagine.” Which sounds better than “America has always been a nation of close-minded bigots requiring the intervention of government to force them into tolerance and diversity.”

Obama’s pop-cultural focus may seem demeaning to the office of the presidency. It may be mockable. But it is also tremendously effective. In the first 24 hours alone, the “Between Two Ferns” segment received almost 8 million views; approximately 20,000 people visited Healthcare.gov directly from the watching the segment. That’s not bad for a pure propaganda effoObama also introduced the Fox reboot of the miniseries “Cosmos,” explaining to Americans that hope and change could still be attained through science: “America has always been a nation of fearless explorers who dream big and reach farther than others might imagine.” Which sounds better than “America has always been a nation of close-minded bigots requiring the intervention of government to force them into tolerance and diversity.”

Conservatives must understand that culture is the lifeblood of politics. Most Republicans have no idea what Funny or Die is, let alone why people watch it. BuzzFeed is a dirty word to most conservatives, even though their sons and daughters read it regularly for its cat lists — and some of them stay for the leftist politics. Obama gets culture, or at least does a serviceable job of pretending he does. His shock troops in the entertainment industry are willing to do the rest on behalf of the Obama agenda.

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  • danhoch

    Little do these “youngsters” know what is in store for them when they reach adulthood with families….then they will be bitching bigtime about what fools they were. Us older folks have been around the block a few times, so we know…but somehow we can’t convince the younger generation that we DO know, and they should be listening before they lose all their future altogether with this crap going on…muslums, healthcare, shirking the Constitution, acting like a dictator..all these things will be felt for decades to come. The ruin of our great America.

  • mars8

    Good message. Should also do some proofreading first.

  • lillymckim

    How I wish Obama and the wife had taken up Oprahs offer of a Hollywood lifestyle a life as a movie”STAR” which is all he & wife really wanted instead of the ruin of this great country.

    We will vote to erase & correct his mistakes 2014/16

  • Pepe Turcon

    Well…this is how wars come about. Sad but you will see if this historical error Obama is , is not corrected in time. Mind you, it will also be a hit from the outside, it’s cooking already in Venezuela and Iran…

  • Infidel4Ever

    The sad truth is that we conservatives have long over looked and or ignored how powerful culture can be. I know, I’m guilty of that too. Obama knows well that most young people care far more about the entertainment “culture” than anything else. By keeping himself in front of that culture he keeps up his cool image in the young minds so full of mush. Arguing facts and issues is for stodgy conservatives. Why do you think he allows himself to be photographed with his feet up on the desk at the Oval Office? ‘Cause it looks cool.

    • fiddler

      Yeah, you need a few years on you to detect BS when it confronts you. Perhaps their only spate with politics was voting for the most curvaceous girl in high school for class president. Believe me if conservatives tried to look “cool” they would complain. Let’s improve only slightly in this area. The old phrase: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” should not be broached here. Let’s not legitimize this used car salesman with a law degree by imitating him. We can do better.

  • jackcb

    It’s what Obama excels in — entertainment. His whole presidency has been about entertainment and it shows in the mess he’s made of the Nation. As far as propaganda goes, he could have taught Dr. Goebbels a lot!

  • Jim

    It occurs to me, if Mr. Surelynotfunnicus and friends have so much insight into how to fix things he should return to Greece and fix their problems and let us suffer in peace under Mr. Clownbama.

  • Lanna

    Obama thinks hes cool, that’s why he goes on shows and tries to divert minds from the destructive policies he has put in place…this is a very strange President, very foreign in his views, and out of the mainstream in his ideologies. No wonder we are a nation in Distress.

    • fiddler

      Sometime I wish we could descend on MSNBC and thumb are noses at the hyper-partisan “reporters” who make sure that it is taboo to treat this president like any other without being dismissed as “haters”.

  • Bill Cervetti

    I didn’t see all of this Funny or Die interview,but what I did see could never be construed to help Obama with the millenials, whatever the website’s or Zach’s fatuous intentions. Obama looked genuinely peeved, and petulant, especially at questions like “So how does i feel to be the last Black President?” This interview is not what it seems, and will not be taken the way they think it’s being taken, even though they were officially through Valerie Jarrett, crowing bout how fabulously successful it was, measured by the number of hits it got. That, to them ,is all they need for “success”, just like assuming they can fudge the numbers on healthcare.gov to indicate “it’s working!”.

  • Hktony

    Obama is popular because he’s a Marxist or liberal or whatever you call them. A liberal duck would be popular. Liberals vote liberal. They don’t need to think. They just accept all things liberal. They are clones who want to kill thinking people. When they have killed thinking people they will kill each other. It’s in their DNA .

  • George of the Jungle

    The Affirmative Action Pustule on the Ass-End of the Body Politic was raised to have a third-world mindset. AAPAEBP is America’s first third-world president.

  • Johnny

    Only half correct, actually. Conservatives to seem to be unable to understand culture. But the big problem is not Obama. It is a school system that primes the next generation for somebody like him. Without that supporting cast Obama would be a side show.

  • Ross

    As far as ‘entertainment’ is concerned, The Manchurian isn’t a patch on the Arkansas Masher!

    http://rossrightangle.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/bills-bordello