Nation Tries to Keep Straight Face at Obama-Ryan Seacrest Interview

It lasts 10 whole minutes

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On Tuesday, radio host Ryan Seacrest aired a 10-minute interview with President Barack Obama. The interview, taped the day before, didn't contain many surprises: Obama spoke about the need to invest in education and infrastructure, encouraged young people to get out and vote, and joked about his date nights with Michelle. The segment has raised eyebrows, though, since Seacrest is primarily known for co-hosting American Idol and having inherited the radio show American Top 40 from Casey Kasem. Coming not long after Obama's much buzzed-about appearance on The Daily Show, the Seacrest interview has people wondering whether the White House is feeling desperate about the Democrats' prospects on Election Day.

  • Is This Necessary? wonders Sam Stein at The Huffington Post, noting that Seacrest's show tapes in Los Angeles. "What, exactly, the point is of doing an interview that will air predominantly in a state that seems to be the one Democratic holdout--and that caters to an audience of not particularly politically-active listeners--is unclear," writes Stein. "But the gist seems to be that, in the 11th hour, no stone should be left unturned. Seacrest's interview, a source notes, will be broadcast on other stations in addition across the country."

  • Desperation, Thy Name Is Obama  Hot Air's Allahpundit almost can't believe it. "Two years ago, he was accepting the Democratic nomination in front of a mock Parthenon; now, to try to recapture the young voters he's lost, he’s forced to make chitchat with the host of our generation's Gong Show ... The One has long since given up on 'acceptable losses' tomorrow and is now hell-bent on stopping the map from turning completely red. In any other year, it'd make no sense to stump for votes in California or hit the trail for a Democratic nominee in Delaware. But this ain't any other year, so now he'll do anything but anything to get young voters' attention."

  • End Times Are Here  For blogger Watertiger at Firedoglake, there's no silver lining. "Yes, you read that right: Ryan Seacrest. Host of 'American Idol', where, back in 2006, more Americans cast their votes for Taylor Hicks than had been cast for President Reagan in the presidential election of 1984 ... If anyone's looking for me, I'll be pricing cave--and bear--insulation over at Home Depot."

  • Actually, Why Didn't This Happen Sooner? wonders James Burnett at Rolling Stone. Burnett points out that Obama has already appeared on The Daily Show and Piolín por la Mañana, a Spanish-language radio show on Univision, suggesting "a White House willing to break the normal rules of political communication and reach supporters right in their preferred forums." So, says Burnett, "if it's kosher for POTUS to do Seacrest, why wait until now? Why not go on the show after health care reform passes, to hammer home the way the legislation will let young people stay on their parents' insurance until they turn 26? Why not submit to Stewart's grilling following the signing of financial reform, when there's a chance to sell the ways the new consumer protection agency will protect people from shady credit card schemes?"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.