Barack Obama’s video venture with BuzzFeed continued to hit a nerve Monday with those who think the President filming himself with a selfie stick was well beneath the dignity of the office.
In an op-ed titled “President BuzzFeed,” Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens faulted Obama for trying to come across as plugged-in with millennials, the age group that the BuzzFeed video was designed to encourage sign up for health insurance before the federal enrollment deadline.
“If communicating with 20-somethings as if they are 11-year-olds is a way to get them to behave like grown-ups, then maybe the White House has at last found a way to make good on its make-believe enrollment numbers,” Stephens wrote.
Stephens, who’s written previously that he doesn’t find the President to be “very bright,” compared Obama’s play for authenticity in the BuzzFeed video to the “role that a chaster version of Miley Cyrus might have played had Hannah Montana been stuck in the White House after a sleepover with the Obama girls.”
He also seized on one of the video’s catchphrases, “You do you,” to critique what he saw as Obama’s “insistently passive” foreign policy.
“In its 2015 National Security Strategy, unveiled earlier this month, the administration underscored the importance of what it called ‘strategic patience,’ a high-toned euphemism for doing as little as decently possible in response to crisis,” Stephens wrote. “Invade Ukraine: You do you, Vladimir Putin. Build a robust nuclear infrastructure: You do you, Ali Khamenei. Continue gassing your own people: You do you, Bashar Assad.”
Stephens wasn’t alone. Fox News host Heather Childers chastised the President last week for filming the video on the same day American hostage Kayla Mueller died while in custody of the Islamic State terror group.
A Minnesota newspaper was also forced to change a photo caption Monday after calling Obama an “assclown.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.