Views on “The View”

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Barack and Michelle Obama made an appearance on ABC’s daytime talk show “The View” on Tuesday, which left many critics questioning the President’s political priorities. Although the UN General Assembly provided Obama with the opportunity to meet one on one with high-level world leaders, he declined such invitations (in particular, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and instead sat down with Barbara Walters and her female co-hosts. This is the first time in American history that a sitting President has appeared on a daytime talk show.Obama’s appearance is most easily explained by a desire to secure middle-aged working class women’s votes, making him one step closer to reelection. Amy Chozick of the Wall Street Journal asserts, “these women rarely watch the Sunday news shows, but they vote in midterm elections in much larger numbers than their male counterparts.”

The women of ‘The View’ responded to criticism of Barack and Michelle Obama’s visit by both Mitt Romney, and representatives of Fox News on September 26. Fox News representative Greg Gutfeld stated earlier, ”It’s better for O to talk foreign policy rather than to those biddies on ‘The View.'” The word “biddie” is not only diminutive, and degrading but also a sexist slur defined as servant or housekeeper. Degradation of the hosts’ gender identities should have played no role whatsoever in purportedly unbiased news coverage or respectful commentary on news events. Criticism of Obama’s appearance on “The View” was primarily focused on the prudence in allotting his time and attention to people, but the criticism itself provided valuable insight into who our society values, and why. In the segment of the show in which the women of “The View” retaliate against Gutfield’s comments, host Whoopi Goldberg emphasizes the fact that she and her fellow hosts represent every day women with perspectives and political concerns representative of the average female, American voter. The backlash against the Obamas’ appearance on “The View” raised some powerful questions about how television news networks portray and value America’s women.

-Austen Dake
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About rowlanda12

This is a blog about the 2012 presidential election. Content is generated by students in Professor Heldman's Politics 101 class. She does not necessarily endorse the views expressed here.
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