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WaPo on Michelle Obama: 'So Many Eye Her With Awe and Disbelief' (triple bag barf alert!)
Newsbusters ^ | June 19, 2009 - 08:29 ET | Tim Graham

Posted on 06/19/2009 8:55:21 AM PDT by lewisglad

The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan goes all gooey for Michelle Obama again at the top of the Style section on Friday, comparing the First Lady to Clair Huxtable, or as explained by the caption under their pictures: "As portrayed by Phylicia Rashad, Clair Huxtable was an accomplished yet down-to-earth figure. In Michelle Obama, the nation now has another symbol of success and style." Givhan writes with an admiration so dazzled that you worry she’s going to faint:

She serves as a symbol of middle-class progress, feminist achievement, affirmative-action success and individual style. And she has done all this on the world stage...while being black.

Time and again, observers grasp for adjectives to describe Obama's combination of professional accomplishment and soccer-mom maternalism. It's no wonder so many eye her with awe and disbelief. Or why a minority still view her with suspicion. There have been few broad cultural precedents for what she represents.

Givhan hailed how "Historically, television has been more progressive than reality, preparing society for the moment when what only existed in the shadow surges into the spotlight," but television "rarely introduced viewers to anyone like Michelle Obama. The last similarly accomplished and wholesome black woman" on TV was Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show.

Playing off a column in the hard-left Nation magazine by professor Patricia Williams, Givhan complained that few black female characters on television "really reflects a generation of black women with advanced degrees, solid self-esteem, and no anger issues."

Set aside for a moment the idea that Michelle Obama’s never displayed "anger issues," while we wait for the story of what happened to Jackie Norris, fired as the First Lady’s chief of staff only four months into the job. Givhan really overplays just how awfully racist American culture has been up until this moment:

In a culture in which every white woman is presumed to be Everywoman until proven out of the mainstream, Obama has brought the normalcy of black women into the broader social consciousness. All it took were her two Ivy League degrees, a six-figure boardroom salary, a Norman Rockwell family, soccer-mom bona fides and an ability to dress herself without the aid of an entourage.

In many ways, the first lady has made people see -- really see -- black women for the first time. [Italics hers.] For example, when a black model appeared on the May cover of Vogue, news articles credited the "Obama effect," ignoring the concerted lobbying by fashion industry activists that began long before Barack Obama was even a presidential contender.

The role of style in defining the first lady might easily be dismissed as a distraction from more substantive issues. But Williams says the fan magazine breathlessness is significant because "it implies a kind of parity we really needed."

A reader who's not black or female can sympathize with the feeling that black women are undervalued or mischaracterized in pop culture. But the Post and Givhan seem unaware of how they're casting their readers as backward racist and/or sexist rubes whose heads are filled with crude stereotypes -- that is, until the vision, the colossus that is Michelle Obama graced the public stage.

The Post and Givhan also seem unaware of how this gooey prose about Michelle's perfection can really sound like the mandated meringues of a state-run newspaper in a airless dictatorship.

—Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: auntesther; fawningmedia; flotusmichelle; gooniegoogoo; wp
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1 posted on 06/19/2009 8:55:21 AM PDT by lewisglad
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To: lewisglad

“(triple bag barf alert!)”.... This alert was not a strong enough warning....


2 posted on 06/19/2009 8:57:30 AM PDT by Sleeping Freeper
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To: lewisglad

“feminist achievement”

By riding on the coat-tails of her husband?


3 posted on 06/19/2009 8:58:38 AM PDT by villagerjoel (1. Implement socialist policies 2. ??? 3. Heaven on earth)
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To: lewisglad
I liked Michelle the first time I saw her....

...when she was a linebacker for the Giants

4 posted on 06/19/2009 8:59:20 AM PDT by lormand (zero b. Hussien - Hard on flies, soft on terrorists)
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To: lewisglad

OMG, triple SPEW!!!!! Givhan is black, dontchaknow, and must not have seen the latest pix of Michelle’s backside in her “just walking the dog like any middle class mom” shorts. If Laura Bush or even Barb would have looked like that, Ms. Givhan would have gone nuts - more than she is already...A writer for the Compost - bleah....


5 posted on 06/19/2009 9:00:23 AM PDT by matginzac
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To: lewisglad

Drowning in Barry Kool-Aid Ping.


6 posted on 06/19/2009 9:00:59 AM PDT by cranked
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To: Sleeping Freeper
Playing off a column in the hard-left Nation magazine by professor Patricia Williams, Givhan complained that few black female characters on television "really reflects a generation of black women with advanced degrees, solid self-esteem, and no anger issues." Set aside for a moment the idea that Michelle Obama’s never displayed "anger issues," while we wait for the story of what happened to Jackie Norris, fired as the First Lady’s chief of staff only four months into the job...

BWAAAAHAH!

7 posted on 06/19/2009 9:01:06 AM PDT by lewisglad
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To: lewisglad

8 posted on 06/19/2009 9:01:08 AM PDT by maggief
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To: GOP_Lady

Oh my stars! One for the Michelle fashion police alert ping list?


9 posted on 06/19/2009 9:01:30 AM PDT by lonevoice (This tagline is identical to the one you are reading)
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Unnngh...

10 posted on 06/19/2009 9:02:43 AM PDT by evets (beer)
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To: lewisglad

“A reader who’s not black or female can sympathize with the feeling that black women are undervalued or mischaracterized in pop culture.”

Undervalued? What does that even mean? Do I owe her something because she’s a black woman?


11 posted on 06/19/2009 9:02:52 AM PDT by villagerjoel (1. Implement socialist policies 2. ??? 3. Heaven on earth)
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To: lewisglad

Put that face in some dough, and you could make yourself some gorilla cookies.


12 posted on 06/19/2009 9:03:20 AM PDT by Boiling Pots (B. Hussein Obama: The final turd George W. Bush laid on America)
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To: maggief

13 posted on 06/19/2009 9:04:16 AM PDT by lewisglad
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To: lewisglad
She's got the look...


14 posted on 06/19/2009 9:05:02 AM PDT by buccaneer81 (Bob Taft has soiled the family name for the next century.)
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To: matginzac
latest pix of Michelle’s backside in her “just walking the dog like any middle class mom” shorts

That's my disbelief and awe, too. Either that pic was an optical illusion, or that lady's backside stretches all the way to the middle of her back.

15 posted on 06/19/2009 9:05:31 AM PDT by Migraine (Diversity is great... ...until it happens to YOU.)
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To: Neverforget01
Ping!

an ability to dress herself without the aid of an entourage. (What about the stylist, full-time makeup artist, et al?)


16 posted on 06/19/2009 9:07:34 AM PDT by maggief
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To: lewisglad

Yup, I can hang with the “disbelief” part. I can’t believe she’s successor to Laura Bush.


17 posted on 06/19/2009 9:09:03 AM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (GOP: Stop listening, start doing -- we need new leaders!)
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To: lewisglad

There can’t possibly be a newspaper reader in the US that finds this fluff crap for anything other than what it is...BS. Right?


18 posted on 06/19/2009 9:09:29 AM PDT by trtdenver
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To: lewisglad

19 posted on 06/19/2009 9:09:49 AM PDT by maggief
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To: maggief

Is she expecting? Are we expecting?


20 posted on 06/19/2009 9:10:15 AM PDT by altura
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To: maggief

Does the exposed bra strap come with the orange tank top or is it one of Michelle’s touches?


21 posted on 06/19/2009 9:11:15 AM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: altura

Oh, I pray that Michelle is not expecting. The hype would be more than we could stomach. ‘scuse the pun.


22 posted on 06/19/2009 9:11:41 AM PDT by altura
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To: lewisglad
and an ability to dress herself without the aid of an entourage.

...which, judging by her appearance at most every public function, she needs.

The media might as well be telling us that Helen Thomas is Ava Gardner's twin when they gush about Michelle's fashion and style sense.

She dresses like she's going to the mall or trying to be her daughters' friends' buddy. Her 'ability to dress herself' is BROKEN.

23 posted on 06/19/2009 9:11:44 AM PDT by Lizavetta (Politicians: When they're not lying, they're stealing.)
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To: lewisglad

That was her “I’m the black widow, don’t f’ with me” dress.


24 posted on 06/19/2009 9:11:48 AM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, save Bowman for later)
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To: lewisglad

“She serves as a symbol of middle-class progress, feminist achievement, affirmative-action success and individual style.”.....

Sounds like tingly leg syndrome to me!


25 posted on 06/19/2009 9:11:55 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: lewisglad

26 posted on 06/19/2009 9:12:08 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (When you put Democrats in charge, stupid things happen)
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To: reagan_fanatic

EHHHGAADDS!....where in hell did that picture come from?


27 posted on 06/19/2009 9:13:31 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: lewisglad

Little did we know that night marked the beginning of America’s Sweater Era!


28 posted on 06/19/2009 9:13:55 AM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: maggief

29 posted on 06/19/2009 9:14:07 AM PDT by lewisglad
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To: reagan_fanatic

Manly-man legs!


30 posted on 06/19/2009 9:14:29 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: lewisglad

What a load of dirty diapers.

Michelle sucks. End of story. So does her husband. I can’t wait until they are gone.


31 posted on 06/19/2009 9:17:09 AM PDT by Danae (Amerikan Unity My Ass)
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To: lewisglad

I have nothing against her, except that she’s a flaming liberal who seems to hate the United States.

The media’s desperate attempt to portray her as some kind of paragon of charm is amusing. It would be better for her, IMO, if they gave her more serious coverage of her first lady activities.


32 posted on 06/19/2009 9:27:03 AM PDT by SeminoleSoldier
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To: reagan_fanatic

Photoshopped cankles! You owe me a new Reuben to replace the one I just barfed up!


33 posted on 06/19/2009 9:31:47 AM PDT by Freedom_Fighter_2001 (Look for my new book - "Great Moderates of History")
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To: lewisglad
She serves as a symbol of middle-class progress, feminist achievement, affirmative-action success and individual style. And she has done all this on the world stage...while being black.

If I were a Black woman, I'd be very insulted. What on earth does the color of her skin have to do with anything? I wonder what the author thought about Condi? (A woman who succeeded on the world's stage without a husband's coat tails? Never-mind, dumb question!

34 posted on 06/19/2009 9:32:05 AM PDT by Neverforget01 (Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it.)
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To: maggief

Whew, baby got back.


35 posted on 06/19/2009 9:32:49 AM PDT by doodad
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To: reagan_fanatic
Is your belt high enough?....
36 posted on 06/19/2009 9:34:20 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: lewisglad

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, “used fashion to convey ‘pretty,’ not power,” said Givhan. If Palin had spent the $150,000 at Wal-Mart rather than at Neiman Marcus and Saks, Givhan suggested, perhaps people wouldn’t have been so appalled at the cost of her wardrobe. But the high-end designs and expensive jewelry were out of touch with her “Joe Six Pack” audience. Additionally, Palin’s wardrobe, while expensive, wasn’t particularly noteworthy: Nothing about her clothing choices crafted an image of power.

Robin Givhan on another politically smart woman.


37 posted on 06/19/2009 9:38:16 AM PDT by linn37 (cue the circus music the democrats are back in charge)
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To: maggief
PLEASE make it stop!

Playing off a column in the hard-left Nation magazine by professor Patricia Williams, Givhan complained that few black female characters on television "really reflects a generation of black women with advanced degrees, solid self-esteem, and no anger issues."


38 posted on 06/19/2009 9:42:41 AM PDT by Neverforget01 (Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it.)
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To: lewisglad

It’s perfectly true - I eye her with awe and disbelief every time I see another of her thriftstore outfits. Can’t SOMEONE tell the Empress, if she doesn’t do another thing, LOSE the too-tight cardigans!


39 posted on 06/19/2009 9:44:30 AM PDT by nina0113
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To: lewisglad

I can certainly understand the “disbelief” part. Who can possibly see MO as a fashionista in good standing? She mostly looks frumpy and over-done, although occasionally she wears something tailored and attractive.

Mostly, she is being overplayed for political reasons. And the more “they” talk her up, the greater the disparity between what we hear and what we see with our own eyes.


40 posted on 06/19/2009 9:47:07 AM PDT by Laur
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To: Migraine
that lady's backside stretches all the way to the middle of her back

Back home, we call it "back booty"; in Michelle's case, we called it "high back booty"

41 posted on 06/19/2009 9:48:02 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (FreepMail me if you want on the Bourbon ping list!)
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To: maggief

Looks like MO has thrown the bus under her butt!


42 posted on 06/19/2009 9:48:38 AM PDT by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: lewisglad

I want to see her investigated for that $300,000.00 per year bribe she got for a no-show job in a hospital that her husband later gave millions in public money as a quid-pro-quo.


43 posted on 06/19/2009 9:52:56 AM PDT by Bon mots
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To: Sleeping Freeper

“(triple bag barf alert!)”.... This alert was not a strong enough warning...

I was thinking “voluminous projectile vomit so disgusting as to make Linda Blair sick alert”.


44 posted on 06/19/2009 9:54:06 AM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: lewisglad
Egad. If I had to wake up to that every morning, I think I would run for president just to have a good excuse to stay out late...

Wait a minute...

45 posted on 06/19/2009 9:55:22 AM PDT by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: lewisglad
After all the hard work and expense (and complaining about student loans) to go to a top tier law school, then just four years after being admitted to the bar, Michelle Obama voluntarily surrendered her license to practice law. Why?
46 posted on 06/19/2009 10:22:59 AM PDT by Teotwawki (Obama was right about one thing, I am clinging to my Bible and my gun.)
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To: altura
I believe that the Obama’s producing a birth child while in the white house is one of their major goals.

They are hoping for a boy that they can name George Barrack Hussein Washington Obama

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

47 posted on 06/19/2009 10:26:19 AM PDT by Syncro
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To: maggief

I haven’t seen a belt that wide outside of a hardcore weight room.

“Somebody give me a spot over here on the incline bench please?”


48 posted on 06/19/2009 10:27:20 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: lewisglad

Yep I too view her with disbelief, I can’t believe she’s first lady! What the h*ll happened in this country that fooled them into voting for a Marxist?


49 posted on 06/19/2009 10:31:14 AM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: lewisglad

Awe, no. Disbelief, yes.


50 posted on 06/19/2009 10:31:37 AM PDT by Interesting Times (For the truth about "swift boating" see ToSetTheRecordStraight.com)
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