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Posted at 2:23 PM ET, 02/28/2011

Barack Obama, no one cares about your favorite Oscar song

By Alexandra Petri

Sure, a lot of dynamic things occurred at last night's Oscars. Kirk Douglas. Kirk Douglas? Kirk Douglas!

But the wackiest moment of the night might have to go to the Tribute to Best Original Songs. Everyone knows how much this category matters: It is the only thing keeping that one woman who looks like she just wandered out of The Oresteia off the streets.

But in case we wanted more reasons that this was important, there was a film segment featuring people on the street explaining their favorite songs in movie history. And among them was Barack Obama, noting that his favorite movie song was "As Time Goes By."

Mr. President, first you invaded my Super Bowl broadcast. I didn't mind. There might have been policy implications for the American industrial complex in the Packers vs. Steelers smashup.

But now it's my Oscars.

Seriously, President Obama, I know that these things are taped in advance. I know that they take maybe 15 minutes to tape, tops. It's not that I'm worried about your priorities. But it's the principle of the thing. Do you really have to weigh in on everything? And if so, why haven't you said more to Gaddafi? I feel like that should be higher on your list.

Look, we like you. Some of us even approve of you. There are some people who think that you were born in Kenya, and there is not very much you can do about them. Whenever you say something like, "My favorite song is from 'Casablanca!' " they will hiss, "Yes, just like you!"

But I have to say, there are some serious things going on in the world right now. For instance, Libya. People there are being killed, and flagrant human rights violations are occurring, Gaddafi is a crazed dictator who dresses up like an angry couch and makes bizarre pronouncements about how al-Qaeda is giving drugs to the youth of his country, and you're sitting here telling us that, of course, your favorite movie tune is the classic "As Time Goes By." Yes, I know this was taped in advance! But meanwhile, what are you doing about those Big Things? Do you really think Gaddafi is sitting in his bunker watching rapt,//// as he gets booted unceremoniously from the Human Rights Council. "No!" he is crying. "Not the Human Rights Council! That's the only thing I care about! I have to moderate my behavior now!" Sure, Secretary of State Clinton has called for him to step down. But what about you?

Say what you will about George W. Bush, he didn't mess with the Oscar broadcast. He was too busy mispronouncing polysyllabic words, invading countries and getting mixed up about weapons of Mass Destruction to be able to show up and admit that "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" was his favorite Oscar-winning tune. Please, go and do likewise, except for the first part.

Next, you're going to start throwing out the first pitch at NASCAR events*, which is the last thing anyone involved wants to happen.

*I assume you have a limited understanding of how NASCAR works.

Look, all I'm saying is, we get it. You're the Cool President. And Bill Clinton would have done the same thing! But just like I don't want Justin Bieber telling me about his stance on abortion, I could have gone another 80 years without hearing about your favorite Original Movie Song.

As Norm McDonald quipped on Twitter, "Hey Obama get on the Libya thing. We don't care what songs you like."

By Alexandra Petri  | February 28, 2011; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama, Petri, Reality? Television, That's awkward  | Tags:  Barack Obama, Oscars, argh  
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Dude, you must be so sick you could find noting else to comment on. Are you even aware of what US as well as other countries have done wrt Libya? Any ideas about what can be done? I mean better than, " I feel like that should be higher on your list."

Is writing your profession... by any chance?

Posted by: anuran | February 28, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Hearing Obama recollect his favorite cartoons from childhood for ten hours is infinitely preferable than hearing from this writer.

Posted by: Dolmance | February 28, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

My oh my, imagine a headline like this on a Washington Post article. What's wrong, getting hit in the wallet because of your consistently left slant? Tide's turning in the country and you would prefer not going out of business? I have noticed that despite the left's lofty rhetoric, when it hits them in the wallet, they do tend to backtrack just a tad....hypocrites.

Posted by: thebink | February 28, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

You are really grasping at straws for an issue to bash Obama on. Remember when the Washington Post used to be an actual news outlet?

Posted by: dkayhill2003 | February 28, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, must have been a slow punditry day. This is about as funny as the Oscars broadcast itself, which is to say, of course, NOT.

Dig a little deeper.

Posted by: JTRAX2001 | February 28, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will about George W. Bush, he didn't mess with the Oscar broadcast. He was too busy mispronouncing polysyllabic words, invading countries and getting mixed up about weapons of Mass Destruction

What a riot you are

Hey Norm MacDonald - - please return to your igloo in Canada ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: skelly1 | February 28, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

One doesn't have to grasp at straws to bash Obama as there's plenty on the table in full view to use but bashing leftists, now that's just starting to kick in-what fun.

Posted by: thebink | February 28, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Dana you are an embarrassment to journalism. Recently, presidents have been interviewed before the super bowl, or did you forget that?
He doesn't understand NASCAR? Of all things difficult to understand I'll bet going around a track for a predetermined number of times must be a hard concept to grasp - especially for a black guy, huh?

Posted by: jjorsi | February 28, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I only hope that "As time Goes By" goes by very quickly until 2012.

Posted by: thebink | February 28, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's say a four-year-old asks you for money to buy a toy. You sarcastically respond, "Sure, I'll give you all the money you want. Money grows on trees!" Four-year-olds don't understand sarcasm, so they'll start looking at trees and asking you where the money is.

Ms. Petri is the best writer of satire since Mark Twain. If you don't understand satire, you will sound like a four-year-old if you post a hostile comment. But if you'd like to actually understand what she's saying, first look up "satire" on Wikipedia. Here is an excerpt:

"In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon."

The point this column is making is that our society pays too much attention to the opinions of trivial people (Justin Bieber) on important issues (abortion). Also, we are too interested in the opinions of important people (Obama) on trivial issues (favorite song).

People who take Petri's words literally and make hostile comments in response to her sarcasm are not just acting like four-year-olds. They are also focusing on the trivial parts of the column instead of the important point it's making. Hostile comments ironically (the opposite of what is intended) demonstrate the true point of the column.

Irony is the highest form of satire. This makes the clueless comments the funniest part. So keep commenting, all you angry people. We're enjoying it immensely!

Posted by: divtune | February 28, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

This song was picked by the Film Institute as the number 2 favorite movie song.

Also the song was sung in CASABLANCA, which by the way is in Morocco NORTH AFRICA.

Posted by: 12man | February 28, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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