The Presidential Exposure line of logic makes for just that: a good story. In, however, the most superficial sense—as an easy, provocative narrative that requires little expertise to report or consume (“The president: overexposed? Discuss”). It’s the cognitive antithesis to stories about the Afghanistan quagmire or the economic crisis or the health care debate. And it’s a question that generally arouses partisan passions despite (and perhaps because of) its reductiveness—the question of exposure’s propriety being contingent on how much one wants to see of this particular president in the first place. And “partisan passions” equal, of course…traffic! Attention! Links! Reductio ad Drudgebaitium!

All of that makes the question appealing; none of that makes it justified. “Is Obama overexposed?” may be—on top of many other things—solipsism that sells. But should it be sold? The answer to that one is easy: No.


Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.