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Mister Obama? - Hawk's Eyrie
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merhawk
merhawk
Mister Obama?
Perhaps I'm missing something; however, I always thought that once you earned your title of President, Senator, etc, that title is always used. So, dear Renee Montagne of NPR, why were you calling President Obama Mr Obama over half the time this morning? Why was it, during the campaign, that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were the two that kept being referred to without their earned titles?

If you can always refer to Bush or McCain by their titles, then you should be able to refer to Obama and Clinton with the same respect.

Tags: , , , ,
Mood: disgusted

9 talons or Rake your talons?
Comments
From: scifantasy Date: April 21st, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Without knowing details, some sources (such as The New York Times) introduce a person in an article with his or her title, and then in subsequent references use "Mr." or "Mrs." or "Ms." or whatever the short form is. That is, an article will open "President Obama..." but later say "Mr. Obama." It's a stylistic element.

But they do that across the board, because it's a convention. I don't know about NPR's conventions. (I'll also cut a speaker more slack than a writer; there's more room for error.)
skwidly From: skwidly Date: April 21st, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
I heard NPR specifically address this shortly after the inauguration; they have always followed this policy.
merhawk From: merhawk Date: April 29th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Huh. I kept trying to remember if they did this with Bush, and my brain said, "No, they didn't".

Augh. Oh well. I still don't like how they do it, though. Other sources have been much worse about things like this.
lbmango From: lbmango Date: April 21st, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
I've been wondering about that for a while...

I was EXTREMELY annoyed that Clinton was "Hillary" just about everywhere, but Obama was "Obama". Are we really on a 1st name basis with Secretary Clinton? But none of the others? Really?
slothman From: slothman Date: April 21st, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Given that even her bumper stickers said “Hillary”, that didn’t trigger my double-standard detectors. If she had kicked Bill to the curb in 2000 and become Senator Rodham and had “Rodham” on her bumper stickers, then having all the talking heads use her first name would’ve set them off.
lugonn From: lugonn Date: April 21st, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
I didn't hear the story, but perhaps she was referring to Obama from an earlier time and wishes to emphasize the distinction? "When Mr. Obama first entered college he ..." I believe that would be allowed. But if she's referring to his current life as Mr. Obama, then that's wrong.
skwidly From: skwidly Date: April 21st, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
As I said above, this is, and has been since the Ford administration, their policy:

http://www.npr.org/ombudsman/2009/01/mr_obama_mormons_and_susan_sta_1.html
cheezstk From: cheezstk Date: April 23rd, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
I heard NPR address this, actually, in response to a listener query. IIRC, the NPR policy is to call the President "President Obama" the first time he's referred to in a section, and "Mr. Obama" thereafter. They followed this policy with Bush as well, and presumably with every other president.
lugonn From: lugonn Date: April 25th, 2009 09:35 am (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
The next time I was reading the paper, The Wall Street Journal, I found that he was President in the first reference, but Mr. in the other references. This was true with several articles. So I guess it considered to be a valid journalistic option (as someone mentioned).
9 talons or Rake your talons?