Two quick examples from the last few days of what the Obama family are having to deal with and how bad the US media’s spinning can get.
In the celebrations when he got nominated, at some point Barack and Michelle Obama bumped fists. Since then, right-wing American media commentators have described that as a “terrorist fist bump”.
Secondly, I just watched Michelle Obama on ABC TV show The View. The View is a bit like Loose Women, although the US version is a bit more intelligent, with a more liberal and journalistic (or less reactionary) tone, if you can believe that. In fact, Loose Women is probably the British-ised spin-off, given the similarities.
Mrs Obama’s contribution is pretty interesting but the thing that made headlines was she describes her husband as “sweet, empathetic” and this got repeated as “sweet and pathetic” which has become a media story across the pond. Host Whoopi Goldberg actually picked this up at the time and was sharp enough to try to clarify – but the story still has legs.
Actually, that reminds me of an old statistic – can’t remember the source so I’ll have to look for it – that in the UK women are 10% more socially conservative than men, while in the USA, women are 10% more socially liberal. I wonder if it’s true because, if so, it would have implications for gender-based effects on culture.