August 30, 2014

Thursday, President Obama made a statement and took questions at the White House press briefing. He, like other presidents before him, wore a tan suit.

You probably know this already. How could you not? It's been everywhere -- on blogs, social media, and even television. ZOMG, he wore a tan suit.

As if what he said didn't matter at all. Worse yet, the whole thing started on the "liberal media" side of the spectrum and rapidly spread like snark on a stick.

I agree with Bob Cesca on this one. Just feel free to shut the f*ck up about the President's suit, everyone. Here are three things the President said that would have been far more newsworthy and actually relevant:

On the economy, the president reported:

This morning we found out that our economy actually grew at a stronger clip in the second quarter than we originally thought. Companies are investing, consumers are spending. Over the past 4 ½ years, our businesses have now created nearly 10 million new jobs. So there are reasons to feel good about the direction we’re headed.

On ISIS and Iraq, he said:

Because of our strikes, the terrorists of ISIL are losing arms and equipment. In some areas, Iraqi government and Kurdish forces have begun to push them back. And we continue to be proud and grateful to our extraordinary personnel serving in this mission. [...]As I’ve said, rooting out a cancer like ISIL will not be quick or easy, but I’m confident that we can and we will, working closely with our allies and our partners. For our part, I’ve directed Secretary Hagel and our Joint Chiefs of Staff to prepare a range of options. I’ll be meeting with my National Security Council again this evening as we continue to develop that strategy. And I’ve been consulting with members of Congress, and I’ll continue to do so in the days ahead.

On Ukraine, he said:

As a result of the actions Russia has already taken and the major sanctions we’ve imposed with our European and international partners, Russia is already more isolated than at any time since the end of the Cold War.

Much more ground was covered in the Q&A section of the event, but what is social media talking about?Obama’s goddamn tan suit.

Those three topline points are really important. Every single damned one of them is a headline that everyone should care about. And yet.

It’s a sign that American social media and the political discourse is totally off its fucking rocker. I mean beyond insane. As I followed the tweets relentlessly popping into my feed, I couldn’t help but to repeat a refrain from my colleague and friend Chez Pazienza: bring back the gatekeepers. Seriously, we’ve been given this miraculous technology — this stupendous means of communicating and this is what we’ve chosen to do with it. Grade-school-recess comment-section nitpickery has evolved into legitimate political criticism over the most mundane, nearsighted and inconsequential details.

Congratulations, America. This is why we can’t have nice things. And when historians of the future look for someone to blame, I hope they include a brief mention of the outrage over Obama’s ordinary suit.

Damn right. So every time you see someone peep about that damn suit, remind them of these three things:

  1. The economy grew at a faster pace in the second quarter than expected.
  2. ISIL/ISIS is a challenge, but they will be dealt with in a fashion that is effective and well thought-out. No willy-nilly rush to bomb or otherwise engage.
  3. Russia is now more isolated than ever because of their actions in Ukraine.

Memo to media: Please grow up and do your job. If you don't want the fashion editor writing political articles, maybe you should stay out of their space and stick to yours.

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