Topic: Media Research Center
Even though Barack Obama has been out of the White House for more then three years, he and wife Michelle are still living rent-free in the collective heads of the Media Research Center.
On April 20, Elise Ehrhard ranted, perhaps a bit jealous of the Obamas' post-presidency success:
The Obamas have created a very lucrative post-presidential life in the entertainment industry. Barack and Michelle Obama currently have a $50 million Netflix contract which they acquired with the help of a campaign contributor. Obama's former national security advisor, Susan Rice, is on Netflix's Board of Directors. The New York Post has even called Netflix "a propaganda machine for the Obamas."
So perhaps it is not surprising that the new Netflix series, BlackAF, from Kenya Barris, the creator of Black-ish, Mixed-ish and Grown-ish,praises the Obamas in about every other episode. Even the series' opening mixes images of the Obama family with African American heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ehrhard ranted further after it was noted on the show that the Obama daughters can't get away with anything:
Actually, the only presidential daughters who faced any serious consequences for their teenaged mistakes were Jenna and Barbara Bush. Both Bush daughters were arrested and charged with underage drinking. Their arrests ended up on the covers of newspapers and weeklies across the country. Jenna appeared in court for underage drinking and using a false ID. The Bush daughter was ordered to undergo counseling and serve community service. The clothes she wore in the courtroom -- including Capri pants, sandals and a toe ring -- were mocked and ridiculed all over the news. Malia Obama, on the other hand, faced no consequences for appearing to smoke marijuana.
You might recall that the ConWeb tried to blame everyone but the Bush daughters for the crime they committed.
In an April 21 post, Gabriel Hays suggested without evidence that there was a direct link between allegedly Democratic-arranged money to public broadcasting in a coronavirus stimulus bill and Michelle Obama having a new show reading classic children's books on a PBS subchannel:
One also might wonder whether there’s a bit of PBS/Democrat quid pro quo that got Mrs. Obama her PBS KIDS deal after the station’s parent company, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, received a massive bailout from the government, a provision stipulated by Democrats in Congress.
As Newsbusters pointed out, CPB received more government funding this year than ever before. It received $75 million in March on top of the $465 million already granted to the CPB, which was already $20 million more than it received last year.
CPB must sure be grateful to those Democrats. Giving Michelle Obama a cute kids show would certainly be a nice expression of their appreciation.
If you'll recall, the MRC tried to exploit the pandemic by using that money to CPB as a cudgel to demand that people's careers be destroyed by cutting off federal funding to public broadcasting entirely.
Hays returned for another meltdown on April 28, appalled that anyone would make a documentary based on a book that sold more than 10 million copies:
What many people are probably considering the lamest surprise reveal in modern history, the upcoming “top-secret” Michelle Obama Netflix documentary is coming sooner than expected and some in the media are dying of excitement to say the least.
Really though, who are they trying to convince?
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the wait is almost over for the film adaptation of the Former First Lady’s best-selling memoir Becoming. The project, which the outlet indicated had been kept “top-secret for months” will debut on the streaming platform on May 6.
It’s quite clear that Michelle and her husband are cultivating a media empire at the moment. Not only have Obamas come out with Michelle’s number one book and this new documentary, their production American Factory won the Academy Award for best documentary earlier in 2020. She’s also the new smiling face of children’s public television, having just started a PBS KIDS show where she reads books to America’s youngsters.
Did we mention that the book has sold more than 10 million copies? Because Hays didn't.
Tim Graham -- who has a longstanding issue with being jealous of the Obamas' success -- complained about it again in his May 1 column:
So let’s get this straight. The Obamas were awarded a book deal worth an estimated $65 million for their memoirs, hers and then his. They also struck an estimated $50 million production deal with Netflix. (We don’t have actual numbers. Could someone in the media ask for a tax return?)
Now, with this self-aggrandizing documentary, the second deal is being used to accentuate the profits for the first. The buck-raking here is intense. Donald Trump surely admires their self-promotional moxie.
The Obamas quickly became super-rich. Vanity Fair celebrated these "Obamoguls" even as Mrs. Obama was hailed for her “saintly popularity.” This so-called saint doesn’t spurn the finer things. Last August, TMZ reported the Obamas were buying a $15 million mansion on the coast of Martha's Vineyard to match their $8 million D.C. mansion. Non-Fox network coverage? Zero. In December, they actually bought said mansion for $11.75 million. Non-Fox network coverage? Again, zero.
Graham is further annoyed that Ivanka Trump wrote a badly reviewed book (which he apparently hasn't read to back up his apparent view that it's secretly better than Obama's):
Not everyone famous is praised for self-help books for women. The current president’s daughter Ivanka Trump wrote one in 2017, and the New York Times was brutal: “It reads more like the scrambled Tumblr feed of a demented 12-year-old who just checked out a copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations from the library.”
There are never any Republican critics of Michelle Obama in the “news” these days. Sonia Rao’s Washington Post story on the documentary quoted Anita McBride, chief of staff to previous First Lady Laura Bush, who said Michelle was a “reluctant” First Lady, but then formed lasting public connections through her “extraordinary use of media and pop culture and television.”
Is that Michelle’s gift to the media? No, it’s the media’s gift to Michelle. The infatuated titans of “news” and entertainment media appear to have granted her every “extraordinary” wish in building this “billion dollar brand.”
The cheers are always presumed to be unanimous. Dissent from this party line is ignored. And no one asks about the profits. Greed, for the Obamas, is cast as just another inspiring voyage of self-discovery.
We suspect Graham has never talked about the Trump family's more obvious greed in this same disparaging manner.