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Mort Zuckerman's Hit Piece on First Lady Michelle Obama

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Implying that First Lady Michelle Obama should have her head cut off in a blaring headline? Well, that at least tells the reader they're in for a right-wing ride.

Sacrifice is something that many Americans are becoming all too familiar with during this economic downturn. It was a key theme in President Obama's inaugural address to the nation, and he's referenced it numerous times when lecturing the country on how to get back on its feet... - New York Daily News

I feel a stem winder coming on.

The hit piece in Mort Zuckerman's rag, the New York Daily News, this week about First Lady Michelle Obama's trip to Spain was one for the books. The title was "Material girl Michelle Obama is a modern-day Marie Antoinette on a glitzy Spanish vacation." I guess they chose that one because "Who Does This Bitch Think She Is?" didn't allow for the Marie Antoinette guillotine image. Besides, Mort wanted to get the biggest bang for his buck.

That's likely why Mort's editors chose Andrea Tantaros to write the piece. According to what accompanies the article, "She is a corporate communications professional who was formerly a Republican campaign strategist." Of course she is. That's why she can so easily throw around things like "modern-day Marie Antoinette" and "toning down the flash" so the Obama's could "humanize" themselves. Ms. Tantaros steps all over herself in her class warfare cry.

To be clear, what the Obamas do with their money is one thing; what they do with ours is another. [...] I don't begrudge anyone rest and relaxation when they work hard. We all need downtime - the First Family included. It's the extravagance of Michelle Obama's trip and glitzy destination contrasted with President Obama's demonization of the rich that smacks of hypocrisy and perpetuates a disconnect between the country and its leaders.

Can you just imagine the ginormous squeal that would come out of these people if First Lady Michelle Obama traveled commercial and ended up inconveniencing who knows how many people, because she commandeered a plane? And the notion that Pres. Obama is demonizing the rich is ludicrous, but no doubt Ms. Tantaros and Mr. Zuckerman are simply furious about Obama holding BP's bottom line to the fire. So, I'm sure the financial regulatory reform, however, minuscule, sent Mr. Zuckerman into a panic.

As for Republicans telling anyone what "perpetuates a disconnect between the country and its leaders," I'd say wanting to repeal the 14 Amendment isn't exactly embracing America or its people, not to mention that it was Republicans who wouldn't extend unemployment benefits to workers, but want to continue the Bush tax cuts. Now that's hypocrisy.

I wonder if either Ms. Tantaros or her boss Mr. Zuckerman has recently served food at a homeless shelter like Michelle Obama and the first family have done on occasion since they started living in the White House? Or if they spend time at a food bank like First Lady Michelle Obama has regularly? Oh, and I don't care about "cellphone guy."

Last year Mort's rag went after First Lady Michelle Obama's shoes. Yes, they were hellishly priced, but if she pays for them why should we care?

Now, I understand the Spain trip cost money to cart the Secret Service to Spain, as well as Mrs. Obama, and that Air Force Two obviously costs as well. So, if that blows your mind, so be it, but it's xnot what Mort's rag is making it out to be, because the First Lady paid for her own lodgings, as did her friends. Besides, Mrs. Obama is not being paid a dime as First Lady. But as to Ms. Tantaros' suggestion of a domestic trip, the Obamas will be spending their family vacation in the Gulf Coast region. Pres. Obama stayed home to work on his birthday while Michelle went to Spain with Sasha, while the Malia was at camp. Not good enough, I know, but we never saw George W. Bush making work versus vacation sacrifices.

The nut of the Daily News hit piece is that Mr. Zuckerman is very displeased with Pres. Obama, because of his mean, old policies against big business. He said so a week or so ago on "Morning Joe," lashing into Rahm Emanuel and Obama saying "It is the most hostile administration to business and to the role of business that we've had in decades and he's saying it's not hostile to business? It's total hostile to business." I don't have time to dissect Mr. Zuckerman's gigantic whine, but it's really silly, all because Wall Street got a bad name, because a bunch of crooks stole our money then blew it all. But for the record, not only has Mr. Obama reneged on his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA so far, he's made a NAFTA-esque trade pact with S. Korea, Panana and Columbia, with David Sirota writing about Obama helping to train workers in South Asia. I could add nuclear power, the oil industry, you name it, but you can use The Google yourself.

Mort's just miffed because of a little regulation coming back into his world. Or maybe it's because he might lose his Bush tax cut, I have no idea.

There was some media criticism of Nancy Reagan when she was spending a fortune on gowns in the '80s, but it wasn't much, even as an entire generation of gay men died off because her husband, Pres. Ronald Reagan, wouldn't even say the word AIDS in public.

I wonder where Mort Zuckerman was and if he had this kind of cow when Jackie Kennedy went on her spending spree to outfit the White House, including indulging herself in a few French designers herself.

But as you can see from the poll below that appeared with the wingnut hit piece, nobody is fooled by the New York Daily News screaming "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!"

I'd personally like to see Pres. Obama call Mr. Zuckerman out on this cheap shot. I know, I know, then Mr. Obama would just get tagged as an angry black man, which might scare the Republican Tea Party into panicking. We can't have that now, can we.


Taylor Marsh is a political analyst and national political writer out of Washington, D.C.

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