Originally posted at American Thinker. blog
Eleven years after Hillary Clinton put “listening tours” on the map, the current First Lady is about to follow the former New York senator’s example. The key difference is that Mrs. Obama is not going to be the one listening. Instead, Michelle Obama will be the only person talking.
On the first year anniversary of launching the campaign to beat back childhood obesity, the office of the First Lady hosted one-way “conference calls featuring administration officials,” talking with the media about “Let’s Move!” Question: Is it accurate to label a one-sided telephone call a “conference”?
Traditionally, conference calls that public figures in Washington, D.C. hold for the media — which, obviously, are designed to get media attention for the public figure — allow the reporters who join the call to ask at least a few questions.
The First Lady’s one-sided chat does not. Consequently, during the ‘Listen Only’ telephone address Michelle listened to no one and everyone “listened only” to Michelle. Mrs. Obama barred conferring, discussion, and any attempt at two-way dialogue, hence a more apropos title for the solo-conference: ‘Lecture call.’
Mrs. Obama’s talk-at-you forum was by “invitation only.” Reporters beckoned to the “listen-only lines for the media” got an opportunity to hear Michelle drone on like a telephone infomercial, addressing how government plans to corral the BMIs of chunky children. Frankly, it would have been just as, if not more, effective to eBlast a link to a Youtube video featuring Mrs. Obama lecturing directly into a non-responsive camera.
The anniversary anti-obese “conference call” was a two-day event. On day one, first up was Regina Benjamin, the US Surgeon General who sanctioned Obama hosting a fat-filled Super Bowl Party because the President is “very active with basketball and exercise.” Dr. Benjamin’s one-way communiqué protected the surgeon general from inquires about her own weight issues.
Another attendee at the fat-filled Super Bowl Party, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, was also featured on the conference call. Vilsack called the “Fuel Up to Play 60” movement “exemplary because it gets kids to learn about nutrition in a fun setting, as well as makes the important point that physical activity is not only necessary but fun.”
After Tom, US Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Drew Brees of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition talked about mapping ‘play deserts’ by encouraging parents, who have nothing else to do, to “help build a nationwide map of playgrounds on kaboom.org.”
To avoid confusion, it is important to note that Kaboom.org is not related in any way to playgrounds in Costa del Sol, Oahu, or Martha’s Vineyard, or any other play area frequented by First Lady Michelle. Nor is it related to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s recent terror alert warning, which is at “its most heightened state since 9-11.”
The First Lady says she wants mayors, community members, and others to “make this issue a priority.” Therefore, a “Let’s Move!” cities and towns one-way, talking-at-you call took place with Democrat Mayors Julian Castro and Dayne Walling. Castro and Walling are presently resetting priorities like converting human waste to clean burning fuel in San Antonio and addressing an unemployment rate of 11.8% in one of America’s most “miserable cities,” Flint, Michigan.
Finally, the day after the political celebrity line-up had their say, the First Lady approached the bottom half of the telephone receiver. The silent media listened intently as Michelle, through a listen-only line, dictated dietary directives to moms and dads while simultaneously conveying the following message to tubby little tykes: Shut up, listen, eat your spinach, and this year — “Let’s Move!”