The First Cable Critic

Everyone's a cable-television critic, including the president. As Politico points out, although Obama claims not to watch much television, he sure enjoys disparaging it. Obama told NBC's Brian Williams that the standard talk show format "feels like WWF wrestling" because "everybody's got their role to play." He's repeatedly talked about how easy it is to get caught up in the "chatter of cable television." The phrase is meant to stand in for coverage that Obama finds simplistic and un-nuanced. Evidently, his staff regularly briefs him on cable news' topic du jour. According to press secretary Robert Gibbs, Obama's frustration with cable networks isn't one of political slant, it's that they "want to boil something down like Afghanistan to more troops or no more troops," when really the possible decisions are much more complex.