Observation

I may be a slightly paranoid conservative, always on the lookout for the vast, left-wing media conspiracy, but recently I have noticed something that I swear I am not making up.

While Clinton was president, the news anchors and others in the media seemed to always refer to him as "President Clinton." When Bush was elected, suddenly to me it seemed that he was always refered to as "Mr. Bush", rarely being called "President Bush." I thought maybe I was mis-remembering since he was president for a long time. Now, though, listening to NPR every morning on my way to work, what do I notice?

Everyone talking about what "President Obama" is doing - "President Obama" said this in his speech, or "President Obama" wants to reform this particular area. I have yet to notice him being called "Mr. Obama." I have not conducted any kind of scientific study about what presidents are called, but what do you all think?

Am I just paranoid?

Comments

I heard a Fox news anchor say that it is ettiquete (sp?) to first refer to the president as "President..." then after the initial addressing call him "Mr.." I want to believe since it is coming from Fox News but I thought the same thing to.
Ed Eubanks said…
Aubrey, you're not paranoid; neither is this phenomenon something unique to the media, nor to "liberals" in general. What you've noticed is simply the fruit of the degrading of the concept of "office" in American culture: we no longer have respect for the Office of the Presidency; now we only regard the man who occupies that office.

This is a problem that, i believe, can be traced back to two primary sources: Charles Finny (and the Second Great Awakening), and Rush Limbaugh (and like-minded talk show hosts). Finny's teaching on the church-- and particularly the pastor-- led to a predominant mindset in Christianity that the pastor is no one special, that he is no different from anyone else, and that he isn't due any particular regard or respect simply because of his role as pastor.

In the 80s and 90s, the multitude of scandals by Finny-esque pastors (self-appointed, often with no theological education or training, following Finny's very teaching about what a pastor is and should be) led to the broad-spread acceptance of Finny's very of the pastorate. No longer could we trust someone implicitly, because of the office they held.

Limbaugh, and others like him, took this concept to ALL offices in the 90s. To hear Rush Limbaugh speak of President Clinton was to hear contempt. Period. There was no restraint in his discussion of the man or his politics, simply because of the fact that he held the office of President of the United States of America.

Now, we are reaping what we have sown. Ironically, so much of this originated under banners that are historically conservative-- but it comes back around to bite us in the end.
Elsa said…
I have always heard President Bush called President Bush. Just hearing/saying Mr. Bush outloud sounds strange in my ears. Perhaps it is just a southern thing.

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