John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Ruining my Super Bowl Pre-Game Show

Posted on February 7, 2010

I was cooking some gumbo (in honor of the Saints), drinking a beer, and getting ready to watch some of the pregame activities, and all seemed to going nicely on Super bowl Sunday.  But all of a sudden, snuck in between a taped segment about the Who and a live performance by Stevie Winwood, was a hard-hitting Katie Couric interview of President Obama.

The only thing that came to my mind was wtf.

I don’t really want to hear about politics right now, Mr. President.

I don’t want to hear about how the President thinks that it is the Republicans who are at fault that the Democrats couldn’t pass health care.  I don’t want to hear about how the Republicans are the ones really to blame for the fact that the American people think that Mr. Obama is spending us into bankruptcy.

I don’t want to hear about how he is going to invite all the Republicans down and hear all of their ideas.

I want to watch football.  I want to drink beer.  I want to eat gumbo.  I don’t want my Super Bowl Sunday to be taken over by a political football.

What was the President thinking?  What was Katie Couric thinking?

This is coming on a weekend where I have heard some interesting insights and complaints about the state of our media culture.  On Friday, I had a couple of drinks with a guy who got completely screwed by a new book that was recently released about the 2008 Presidential campaign.  He had several off-the-record discussions that magically showed up in the book.  He was fit to be tied.

The next day, my wife’s Uncle Jack called, and he was outraged about the book too, but for a different reason.  His point was simple:  why didn’t we know about all of this stuff during the election about Edwards, and McCain, and Palin and Clinton.  Why didn’t the news media report these facts and let the voters know about the true character of these Presidential candidates?

Two interesting and completely contradictory points.  One is complaining about information that was off-the-record and shouldn’t have been released, while the other was complaining that the off-the-record stuff wasn’t released soon enough.

The bigger reality is that nobody trusts the media any more.  They are trusted less than the local used-car salesman.  Whether they are in the print media or in the broadcast news, they are losing money.  Journalists now see their role more as advocates and less as non-partisan referees.  They practice the game of gotcha in the hope of finding higher ratings or a bigger circulation.

And worse, they try to break political stories in the middle of my Super Bowl Sunday.

As Roger Daltry might put it, “Who are you?

Who are you to try to distract me as I am trying to get ready for the biggest game of the year?

You are part of an industry that is rapidly losing credibility and really starting to piss some people off.  That’s Who.