President Barack Obama

March 9, 2010

All politicians use the media to their advantage and the media cannot help but swarm all over like bees. Quite possibly the most famous and abhorred use of a photo opportunity would be this picture:

Photo op

When Sarah Palin first hit the scene, she knew next to nothing about making use of the media. Unfortunately she’s learning – must have hired a better coach – but thankfully that should not matter in the long run because she still won’t know enough to even have the opportunity to become within one position of the most powerful office in the country again. Not long after the election, Sarah Palin was interviewed while some man in the background strangled a turkey:

Stellar photo staging, Mrs. Palin!

As much in my first sentence, Republicans are not the only ones to manipulate media to their advantage (or disadvantage considering Palin’s gaffe) and there is quite possibly no other Democrat who can charm the media to his whims than President Barack Obama.

For those who are reading, this is neither criticism or praise of President Obama. I’m simply stating the facts, as it were, although it does help for Obama to come off in the best light when juxtaposed to the stubborn refusals of the Repulicans in their attempts to fix the country to their ideal. What I’m referring to is the luncheon with the Republicans a month ago, and then the Health Reform summit two weeks ago.

I will use clips from the Daily Show, partly because I watch these clips and know where to find them but also because the Daily Show has a much better track record of keeping situations in context than other news sources.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Q & O
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Reform

Through most of our history, campaigning aside, the President has persisted on an air of civility and respect even when faced with his political opponents, for fear of presenting to the media a combative and stubborn front. However, Obama has the charisma and the youth to apparently get away with chastising his fellow politicians. The Republicans were not the only one to hear his ire; at the State of the Union address everyone was lectured for various reasons: the Dems for being spineless and letting the legislative majority slip and the Supreme Court for ruling that corporations can fund politicians.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Apparent Trap
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Reform

As much as some of us might laugh, the reporters and pundits are calling it a “trap” for a reason. At the GOP luncheon with President Obama, the Republicans had trouble coming across as anything other than stubborn and disconnected liars and opportunists. This Healthcare Reform summit seemed only another means with which Obama could throw a wrench into the Republicans’ apparent plan of keeping the legislation stagnating in Congress so that the lack of progress in fact reflects badly on the Democrats and the President. But by featuring this on national TV, it is mostly the Republicans who will look bad for roadblocking legislation.

And photos like this don’t hurt your Presidency either:
The Force is with you!


I was actually half done with my professional brief which happened to center around Canada and a new problem that they’re having with their own media. It seems that the giant broadcast companies, such as Canada TV and CBC are having difficulty finding the funds to produce local programming and are pushing the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (from here on out known as the CRTC) to tax the Canadian citizens an extra $10 a month on their cable and satellite subscriptions (thestar, LaSalle).

That is a pretty hefty fee and there are actually a number of comments on that article say, to paraphrase, “Let them fail! I didn’t watch local TV anyway.”

Poor Canada has always struggled against the United States, against its more powerful signals – at least in the early days – and, unfortunately, far more well-funded media. That is not to say, however, that it has not had its successes. Maybe the television just is not their arena although they did produce Degrassi and, most particularly, Reboot.

I mentioned Reboot in my Japanimation post. It was on Toonami with the rest of the animes, but it most certainly did not qualify as an anime considering it was the first fully 3D-animated cartoon produced and it was absolutely amazing (Reboot Homepage). This show is for pop culture and computer geeks:

I think every single episode is available on Youtube. The whole show ended sometime in the early 2000s on the most dreadful cliffhanger because whoever bought the license to it screw up its showing to American audiences, much the same way Fox pulled the rug out from under Arrested Development!

However, what Canada seems to be dominating most in the world right now: video games!

Two of the most critically acclaimed video games that have actually be released within the last five months came from Canada.

Ubisoft. I had long known they were a french company, but I had no idea that their main office is based in Montreal, Quebec! Their newest franchise just got a recent installment in Assassin’s Creed II. Shadow of the Colossus is my favorite game of all time for its utter craft and exhilaration, but Assassin’s Creed II is by far the funnest game I have ever played!

The first Assassin’s Creed was merely a really good game. It was fun, but it had its faults in story and gameplay elements, based in roughly Medieval Middle East. It also carried its usual high standard in graphics, particularly with digital cloth. This time the story went to Renaissance Italy (sorta, not really, anyone who plays the game knows what I mean) and as evidenced by the video above, their graphics are of the usual high standard. Excellent game.

Another great game company that happens to be in Canada is that of Bioware. Their newest game is Mass Effect 2, which was released just two weeks ago. I do not own it – still have to play the dozen other games I already have – but from word-of-mouth it is apparently much, much better than its predecessor and might be in contention with Assassin’s Creed II for game of the year.

So, while Canada is unfortunately suffering in their local television programming, they are steamrolling the rest of the video game industry with quality games such as these two above.
LaSalle, LuAnn. “CRTC wants to hear from Canadians on so-called TV tax.” (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Mar 2010. .