So Michelle Obama and the First Family’s defacto White House chef, Sam Kass, dined at Oyamel last week, and you know what? The local media didn’t Tweet their fingers to a pulp to report every last chip slathered with salsa that crossed the First Lady’s lips.
Eddie Gehman Kohan, the indefatigable blogger who covers all things Obama and food at (what else?) Obama Foodorama, thinks she knows why:
Although there was a gaggle of onlookers clustered around the front of the restaurant, it’s interesting to note that the outing didn’t make national news, a la Mrs. Obama’s visit to Good Stuff Eatery, or the President’s visit to Five Guys. Apparently things are normalizing, on that front, somewhat.
I have another theory: The media care more about the President’s eating habits than the First Lady’s. It’s a bigger deal for Barack Obama to take a moment from his schedule to visit a restaurant than it is for Michelle Obama. Hence, each of the President’s restaurant visits takes on a deeper significance.
I mean, if the President puts aside the economy, the environment, and various foreign crises to eat a hamburger, it must be a damn fine burger.
Oh, and I also suspect that fewer reporters follow Michelle Obama than the President.
UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: I asked Eddie Gehman Kohan for more of her thoughts on why Michelle Obama’s eating habits don’t get the same media attention as the Prez’s, and if any sexism is involved here. Here’s what she typed back:
I don’t think it’s sexism so much as Mrs. Obama is afforded more of a private life than POTUS. Everything he does gets much more scrutiny and is taken as a Symbol or a Clue or a Prediction of what he’s going to do or might do in terms of policy. Also regarding coverage: He’s not allowed out without the pool and the motorcade. FLOTUS can “sneak” around with a smaller motorcade. As well… If the First Lady’s press office thought it was a good idea for coverage they would have alerted the usual suspects…
Photo by La Citta Vita via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License