As if I wasn’t already completely overwhelmed by the lack of real issues being discussed in the “mainstream” media, now we have to contend with the assumed Democratic candidate and his wife on the cover of glorified tabloids next to Angelina Jolie’s pregnancy sex?

The Huffington Post reports that Michelle and Barack Obama will grace the cover of this week’s Us Weekly, a publication that I will only admit to reading at the gym or on an intercontinental flight, and even then, only after my DVD player has died. Call me a snob, I won’t take it personally.

The magazine will feature a six-page article on the Obamas’ love story as well as an album of family photos. The cover is headlined “Michelle Obama: Why Barack Loves Her” and teases, “She shops at Target, loved ‘Sex and the City’ and never misses the girls’ recitals. The untold romance between a down-to-earth mom and the man who calls her ‘my rock.'”

The Huffington post cites this as an example of their “crossover appeal as both political and entertainment figures.” Because we definitely need rock stars in the white house. I am not going to deny getting sucked into the fan frenzy myself a bit. I have both of Obama’s books, and have gotten light headed with hope each of the two times I’ve seen him speak. Just the same, I try to focus on the concrete reasons that I believe he is the best candidate for President. He’s not running for the PTA, people.

Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to take a week long institute at Wheelock College with Dianne Levin and Gail Dines titled “Media Literacy in a Violent Society,” during which Dines talked a lot about the crossover of pornography and pop-culture in our society. She cited that pop-culture had become more accepting of images typically confined to pornography, and simultaneously, pornography had increasingly entertained images related to, and references to pop-culture. The same thing is going on right now with our celeb-obsessed culture and politics.

This is nothing new. We all remember a sax-toting Bill Clinton gracing the stage on the Arsenio Hall show and addressing a crowd of young twenty-somethings in a hideously painted MTV studio about whether or not he inhaled when he tried pot in college. Fast forward fifteen years and we have a former Vice President/Academy Award Winner, photogs following celebrities on their peacekeeping missions, and red carpet chatter passing for political coverage. Now, I have always respected celebrities who voice their opinions about issues larger than their jewelry or bags, but ask yourself this: would you ask your mechanic which wedding dress you should buy for your wedding? Probably not. Let’s let people stick to what they’re good at, and consider the source. Keep the stars out of your eyes, and demand real information.


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