Sitting with Oprah, Dancing with Ellen: Presidents, Daytime Television, and Soft News
Copyright belongs to the University Press of Kentucky.
On July 29, 2010, President Barack Obama took to the air on "The View" to talk politics, policy, and family. Pundits billed the visit as the first time a sitting U.S. president appeared in a daytime television program. The telecast drew about 6.7 million viewers, the highest rating ever for the show, and garnered the largest number of women viewers in 17 months. However, whether and to what extent Obama succeeded in getting his message out and endearing himself to female voters remains an open question that merits further scholarly inquiry. In this chapter, I put Obama’s visit to "The View" in historical context and delve into the research that examines people’s potential for integrating political knowledge, particularly looking at more recent work on how soft news influences voter knowledge and political behavior. I further consider whether and to what extent presidents may employ such venues for effectively reaching out to the female demographic and, more broadly, affecting the public discourse.
José D. Villalobos. "Sitting with Oprah, Dancing with Ellen: Presidents, Daytime Television, and Soft News" Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics. Ed. Lilly J. Goren and Justin S. Vaughn. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2012. 163-179.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jdvillalobos/35