After President Obama's primetime address last night to the nation to officially declare the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the story was, not surprisingly, top news on all of the morning shows and in the newspapers. And certainly much of that coverage did a good job of looking back at the war in Iraq, what it truly accomplished, what's next for US involvement in the country, and a look at the war in Afghanistan. But, why were those same outlets obsessed with the Oval Office makeover? It just seems ludicrous. Maureen Dowd devoted an entire column to the topic, calling it Obama's "redecorated man cave." She added that the redecoration "was the latest tone-deaf move by a White House that was supposed to excel at connection and communication. Message: I care, but not enough to stop the fancy vacations and posh renovations"
Actually, as I learned this from the extensive segment on Today, most presidents redecorate soon after they are inaugurated, but Obama waited more than 18 months because he came into office during a time where the country was perhaps in the most dire straits it's been in over half a century. Certainly, this still isn't a great time for the country, but maybe Obama just wanted the chance to redecorate before his term, and maybe presidency, is over. Political leanings aside, cut the guy some slack. It's his office, not a yacht.
The most important question though is: who cares? We are still facing some serious issues as a country, including a war in Afghanistan that is claiming more military lives now than ever before, and one of the most prominent columnists from the paper of record is wasting valuable time, space, and eyeball strain (mine, not hers) on this?! I can appreciate fluffy stories about Bo the First Dog, or Michelle and Sasha's highly-criticized trip to Spain, but allow me to pull a Jon Stewart for a second and address the news media directly (alas, I have no camera three): please, please, please do your job as journalists. To remind you, that is first and foremost to inform and educate your readers, listeners, and viewers. If I want entertainment, I'll turn on episode of Mad Men or Jersey Shore.