With The Washington Post’s hagiographic look the other day into President Obama’s reading habits, and into presumably what influences his decisions (apparently mostly SportsCenter, ‘cause let’s be honest—no one can read both The Economist and The New Yorker in the space of one week, as his staff claims he does), we now know that Obama can pass the Katie Couric what-newspapers-and-magazines-do-you-regularly-read test, and that, unlike his predecessor, actually reads entire articles on his own, unprompted and un-predigested by his staff. (The full rundown of Obama’s influences, according to the Post, includes: The Atlantic Online’s Andrew Sullivan, The New Yorker, The Economist, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, SportsCenter, C-SPAN’s coverage of his press secretary’s daily briefings, and a few individuals that have his ear, including his wife, Paul Krugman, Colin Powell, Warren Buffett, an unnamed member of The Washington Post’s board of directors, former archbishop of Washington Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, and Green Bay, Wisc., breast cancer survivor and official Regular Person, Laura Klitzka.)
So now, on the eve of Obama’s first official State of the Union address, in which we will learn of his latest policy directives, no doubt influenced by what and to whom he turns for unfiltered information, we wanted to ask you, dear readers, what your reading recommendations would be for the Information-Consumer-In-Chief.
If you could hand one of Obama’s aides a single article, book, magazine gift subscription, documentary film, television clip, or blog link as part of his morning briefing, what would it be and why? And “All of ‘em, any of ‘em” does not count as an answer.The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.