Friday, May 04, 2007

Barack Obama secret service - is it even a story yet?

I know journalists must look to journalism before public service - that's their job. Tonight on the Chicago ABC, CBS and NBC stations, each 6 o'clock broadcast started out with the new Secret Service detail on Obama. The major point for all coverage was that there have been no threats against him but that this was the earliest a candidate has ever needed Secret Service protection. I guess I was shocked that this was hot enough to lead the newscasts here - yes, it was new and thus "news" but it wasn't really a story yet. The presidential race hasn't really begun and no specific threat has been released. It may have been news, but what was the point? There was some "watchdogging" involved, I suppose, because Obama has made no comment and the only video for the story was Obama walking with what looked like bodyguards with hearing aids. I had seen the story on the 5:30 network news for NBC and ABC, so maybe I was just informed enough already of something I didn't think was that newsworthy in the first place. But our stations leading off with something I didn't think was that much of a story - I was surprised. Wasn't there anything else going on? I couldn't tell you. After flipping through the top of each show looking for something different, I switched away from news altogether.

5 Comments:

At Friday, May 04, 2007, Blogger AG said...

Not only was it the lead in local news, but national news too. I am going to have to agree with AM. This coverage constantly is getting old... espcially because it isnot on issues the candidates are campaigning for, it is on all random things such as secret service. This is the new hot story. But you ask why and I'm going to have to agree with that. The coverage is getting obnoxious. Did anyone care that the GOP debate was on last night at all?

 
At Friday, May 04, 2007, Blogger AJS said...

I don't know... I think this story is kind of interesting. One of the angles that someone took on it (I believe it was on Slate or Salon) was that since Obama now has secret service detail, and since Hilary still has it as a former first lady, John Edwards is basically the only major Democratic candidate with freedom of movement. And considering the first two races in Iowa and New Hampshire are so based around meeting people at town halls and shaking hands at mom and pop restaurants, the commentator thought it might be a disadvantage for Obama. The article suggested that people might bristle at having to go through the scary-looking, IFB-wearing, gun-toting, black-clad men that will be following Obama everywhere he goes in order to talk to him. So I think that's kind of significant, plus it's just another sign of how early this campaign period is taking place.

 
At Saturday, May 05, 2007, Blogger MW said...

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At Saturday, May 05, 2007, Blogger MW said...

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At Saturday, May 05, 2007, Blogger MW said...

Take 3...

I guess I could justify leading off with it. If you dwell on it, the story can be throught-provoking. Obama would need the protection more than any other candidate, even if there's no visible threat...it's probably just me, but when I think of progressive, Democratic candidates with an incredibly romantic, idealistic image among many young voters, I almost feel like massive disappointment or immense tragedy is somewhere around the corner.

Having said that, I'm still not sure I'd use this as a lead story either, but you could do a whole lot worse.

 

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