“Strategy Session” Meets “The Pleasant Little Dog Story”

Recall what Megan wrote earlier about Bo Obama’s arrival and how it brought out the worst in cable news impulses, with cable outlets trying yesterday to squeeze Analysis and Significance out of what was a simple, sweet story. Calling on experts — a presidential historian, a dog whisperer— to dissect the dog’s unveiling “suggests an attempt to fool audiences into thinking they’re watching Substantial Commentary,” Megan wrote.

Witness CNN’s Wolf Blitzer who, moments after Bo’s First Public Romp yesterday, assembled a “Strategy Session,” as he likes to do, in hopes that Republican Strategist might shout down Democratic Strategist about, I guess, The Strategy Behind Bo Obama’s Debut.

WOLF BLITZER: Let’s get right to our “Strategy Session.” Joining us, the Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile and Tony Blankley, a former spokesman for Newt Gingrich. I’ve got to talk a little bit about the dog. I know you love dogs, Donna. Tony, you love dogs. What did you think of the way they unveiled over at the White House, the introduction of Bo?

Blitzer asks his guests to analyze the Obama White House’s Dog Introduction Strategy.

And? The strategists resist! The strategists want to talk about how adorable and happy it all is!

BRAZILE: I love the fact the president and First Lady and their two girls now will have a very lovely addition to their family. He clearly looks very excited to be at the White House, and I’m sure tonight as they settle down and he settles down, this is going to be a joyous time for the entire family.

BLITZER: Those two sweet little girls were smiling, about as big a smile as you can imagine.

BLANKLEY: I have a 12-year-old daughter. We got her a puppy a couple of years ago. Nothing like a child and their new dog. It’s a wonderful story. There’s no political angle to it at all.

Tony Blankley could find “no political angle at all” to the Bo Obama story! Now what, Blitzer? Your “Strategy Session” is fizzling! Blitzer prompts:

BLITZER: No exploitation of the family? Republicans aren’t going to say he’s taking advantage of…

BLANKLEY: They have a pleasant little dog story.

Blankley declines Blitzer’s bait. Blitzer relents.

BLITZER: The first family and a brand new story at the White House. We remember Barney and all those others…

BLANKLEY: Now maybe you want to bring in Barney to give an alternative commentary.

You want Bo bad-mouthing? Book Bush’s dog!

Blitzer ends the segment, promising viewers “more on Bo coming up,” including “a veterinarian” who will give “more insight into what the first family is going through.”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.