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Interesting Distinction

There is, however, a larger point here. Traditionally, presidents and presidential candidates from both parties have made concerted attempts to reach voters outside the mainstream news media in an attempt to humanize themselves for political purposes. President Obama's appearance on "Between the Ferns" was for an entirely different purpose; namely, to encourage young adults to purchase health insurance.

It is too easy to view such an appearance in purely political terms, because it causes us to lose sight of the policy. What if we were to view the President as going on "Between the Ferns" for the purpose of saving lives, which his appearance probably did? When was the last time a President co-opted a comedy show for the purpose of concretely helping the American people?

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.