Obama Derangement Syndrome may have reached a new peak last week when President Obama was literally criticized for walking and chewing gum at the same time. As everyone knows, President Obama has long struggled to kick his smoking habit (Marlboros, not Newports), and drew jeers from Chinese bloggers last week for chewing nicotine gum while walking with Chinese President Xi Jinping last Tuesday. Naturally, the conservative media was delighted by the flap, but the mainstream media reported on it as well.
Now in Brisbane, Australia for the G20 Summit, President Obama has done it again:
Now, the knee-jerk "who gives a fuck?" reaction you're feeling right now is understandable, but honestly, as a fellow attempted former smoker, the President's continued reliance on the gum is a bit concerning. From a human interest perspective, as a concerned American, I do wonder if the President is fighting a relapse, and hope he pushes through it. My problem is with the way it has been covered, and not just the 1950s gym-teacher attitude the media copped about it. You'd think the guy was a reefer addict, or something.
No, what I find curious is this latest gum-chewing episode's path to glory. That video is from ABC News, but the gum-chewing was first reported by McClatchy White House Correspondent Anita Kumar, who did so using the best typo I've ever seen in a pool report (via email):
POTUS, chewing gun, was casually chatting to British Prime Minister David Cameron waiting for meeting to start.
It's too bad the President wasn't actually chewing gun, or Republicans might have immediately tried to ban guns.
So, that pool report went out shortly after 1 am this morning, and within about half an hour, Glenn Beck's TheBlaze.com was up with a post on the incident, headlined "Obama Spotted Chewing Gum While Speaking to Yet Another World Leader."
President Barack Obama was spotted by the White House press pool early Saturday in Australia chewing gum while speaking with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
...Obama, who has struggled with smoking throughout his life, is a well known user of Nicorette, a type of gum aimed at helping individuals kick the habit.
Then, a few hours later, ABC News published an item on the incident, along with the video, and the very familiar-sounding headline "President Obama Spotted Chewing Gum Again While Abroad."
As the G20 summit got underway in Brisbane today, the president was once again spotted smacking gum as he chatted with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the first plenary session.
...President Obama is a known user of Nicorette gum in an effort to fight off his cigarette cravings.
Now, obviously, there are only so many ways to phrase a slight story like that, but what's weir is that this isn't the first time I've spotted ABC News taking cues from Beck's website. When someone turns on Fox News, the conservative media influence is obvious, but the broadcast nets are supposed to be objective, or even liberal if you listen to conservative whining.
As for the President's gum-chewing, it beats either of the alternatives. I'd hate to see how the media would react if he lit up a Cowboy Killer in Cameron's face, or slapped the shit out of someone in a fit of nicotine deprivation.