Soft Media Worked For Obama


Political junkies don’t decide elections. I think this is something we political junkies need to remember. As popular as the political television shows are, as big as some of the political websites are, they are but a tiny slice of the mass media market.

Earlier this year President Obama was getting flak for his “soft media” strategy. “President Barack Obama has been taking a lot of questions in the two months since his last press conference or national news interview,” reported Politico in August. “He’s just been doing them with ESPN, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine and FM radio stations around the country, mostly to talk local sports and regional cuisine.”

Obama focused his time on being interviewed by Jay Leno, and doing feature pieces for People magazine. And it worked for him. Why? Because that’s where the people are.

Jay Leno’s ratings average anywhere from 3 million to 5 million viewers. In cable news the absolute pinnacle in terms of ratings, the most-watched show on the most-watched network, is Bill O’Reilly who averages just under 2 million total viewers.

People Magazine has a circulation of about 3.5 million. By contrast, the total global circulation for The Economist is 1.5 million with about half of that in the United States. The Atlantic? Under 500,000. National Review? Under 200,000. The only “news” magazine that even comes close is Time with 3.2 million in circulation.

But the nice thing about giving interviews to People instead of Time? Easier questions.

I think sometimes those of us who write and talk about politics a lot forget that we are not the norm within the American electorate. We, as I already wrote, do not decide elections. The people watching Jay Leno and reading People decide elections.

Conservatives need to figure out how to engage those people. I don’t think Obama’s soft media push, by itself, did Romney in. But it was a factor.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Mike Peterson

    Was waiting for somebody to touch upon this. Saw a qoute –

    “My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s
    country, not to its institutions or its office-holders. …They are its
    mere clothing., and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be
    comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.
    To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags
    — that is loyalty of unreason.”

    – Mark Twain

    • sbark

      yup……..that 50% plus of this countries citizens has their top 10 items of loyalty to, in no order, ideology, free stuff, abortion, gay rights, free stuff, govt power, free stuff, more ideology of big govt, enviro wacko, green energy………
      …….all well above loyalty to the USA as a whole…….in fact they hate alot of things about the USA and what it stands for……..
      This country has flipped……from this point on it goes from divisions to chasm as wide as the Grand Canyon……….and from there, history shows us.

  • mikemc1970

    Obama received about ten million fewer votes than he did in 2008. I believe his earlier assault of lies on Mitt Romney’s character, backed up by the mass media, had a stronger effect on people’s opinion on Mitt, than I had originally thought.

    • The one you hate

      What lies?
      Who assaulted Mitt’s character?

      • mikemc1970

        Wrong. I’m pretty sure hating you would involve giving a sh*t about you first, eunuch.

        • The one you love

          What lies?
          Who assaulted Mitt’s character?

          • mikemc1970

            Wrong. That too would mean I care, Squats2P.

          • The one you don’t care for

            What lies?
            Who assaulted Mitt’s character?

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    Due to the mainstream media Benghazzi blackout a large number of voters had no idea BHO lied about the matter from day 1.
    But they did see plenty of images of his 2 hours acting Presidential in New Jersey; accomplishing nothing.
    The media in this country is a disgrace.

    • Eat This

      The Republican’s ability to manage the media is disgraceful. Too bad they declined so many appearances on late night talk shows. Here it comes… time to blame the media again rather than the ineptness of your PR people, your antiquated strategies, the inability to control your message and the inability to articulate your message in a way that less educated people can understand.

      • sbark

        …..should true “journalists” have to be manipulated? Dont care about the late night shows, its the supposed 4th branch of Govt as Jefferson would say, that are to keep our Govt honest and inform the citizens that have let us down……
        They vet who they want, they hide a Bengazi, NY after Sandy is much worse than Katrina and yet nothing said……..
        We basically have the main media and newspapers all being 100 diff. versions of Pravda………….and the most disappointing thing is the ave ideological dem’cat likes what they see in the media.

        • $8194357

          Feeds their deception poison habit, huh.

    • The Revealer

      There was no mainstream media Benghazi blackout.
      They just did not report it to what you think is adequate, and or to your standards.
      Get over it.

      • $8194357

        Can you say “apoligist” boys and girls?

        • The Revealer


          • $8194357

            The leftst Leninist useful idiot that apoligises and defends the leftist agendas they so dearly love..


    How many more bizarro theories are you going to float?
    After reading your predictions for the last month and now this, you need a break to regroup and get it back together.

  • Davo

    Condescension for the hoi polloi did not work for Romney in 2012, and it won’t work for you guys in 2016.

  • Eat This

    Too bad it took handing the keys over to Obama again for you idiots to get this concept through your thick skulls. Clint Eastwood? John Voight? Kid Rock would have worked 10 years ago. Great guys and true patriots but COME ON! Are you freakin’ kidding me? Where’s our Jay Z and Beyonce?

    They should have upgraded Romney’s firmware so he could have made appearances on some of the late night shows.

    • $8194357

      Pop culture determins governance…
      yeah..Your one of them huh.

    • sbark

      Dem’cats have 4 types of voters——ideological, un-informed, just dumb and then morons……and alot of them are combinations of all
      …….all typical of 3rd world country mentalities………

    • $16179444

      so instead of having any actual plan, its come down to who the entertainers are? holy shit, we are worse off than i thought!

  • $8194357

    Made for TV mass consumption black camelot sock puppets for the cause…

  • Snarkie

    Have you found anything else to blame other than your backwards domestic and international policy orientations?

  • Rodrigo González

    Congratulations for Obama!

  • $8194357


    Al-Qaida among U.S.-supported rebels

    As KleinOnline reported, questions remain about the nature of U.S. support for the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, including reports the U.S.-aided rebels that toppled Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya consisted of al-Qaida and jihad groups. The U.S. provided direct assistance, including weapons and finances, to the Libyan rebels.

    Similarly, the Obama administration is currently aiding the rebels fighting Assad’s regime in Syria amid widespread reports that al-Qaida jihadists are included in the ranks of the Free Syrian Army. Earlier this month, Obama announced $50 million more in aid to the Syrian rebels.

  • $8194357

    Don’t rock the made for TV Presidents boat…

    Not like anything bad is goinng on in the world for
    the lap dog…er watch dog media to bother him about.
    No ambassedors killed as he watched the drone footage
    run the guns to the brotherhood and sailed thru those
    “tough venues” on social media TV huh..


    Mark Slavo has done yeoman service in reporting this.
    It relates to FEMA’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
    I hope it gets a wide hearing.

    Though details are scarce and media coverage has been completely restricted
    by officials, stories of what victims of Hurricane Sandy are experiencing at the
    hands of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the wake of the storm have begun to emerge.

    The few available images from these so-called “tent cities” suggest that Camp FEMA isn’t all it’s cut out to be, with one resident using some choice words to describe how FEMA and the Red Cross have completely failed at their jobs.

    Read more: