What Is True/Slant?
275+ knowledgeable contributors.
Reporting and insight on news of the moment.
Follow them and join the news conversation.

Apr. 29 2009 - 1:55 pm | 4 views | 0 recommendations | 7 comments

100 Days: I Don’t Care and Neither Should You

April 9th 2008 - 100 days

Image by Stephen Poff via Flickr

I know that all important holidays are “made up” in the sense that we have to all collectively agree that we care.  Sometimes it is is religion that motivates us to mark a certain day as not like any other day; sometimes it is capitalism and the opportunity to sell us stuff (e.g. Halloween, Valentine’s Day).   There are few holidays, however,  that are completely and utterly made up by the news media.  That, however, is what today is.  It is the 100th day of President Obama’s administration.

But why is the 100th day important?  Because FDR passed much of his New Deal legislation during the first 100 days of his presidency and therefore we must always judge every President after FDR by this arbitrary marker?   Because the People have said so?  Or God?  Or the Market?  Forget it.  This isn’t about God (no special foods or ceremonies for it) and it’s not even about the Market (I can’t even buy a tee shirt to celebrate it).  This is about the Media and if there is one group of people who should not ever be allowed to make up holidays, it is the media (because we have no foods or tee shirts to go with it).

Not only did the media make up this day, but a quick look at Google trends shows that stories about Obama’s first 100 days started months ago, got quite popular in and around January, and then recently exploded again.

Google Trends: obama 100 days.

But 100 days may or may not be a good time to judge a Presidency.  I have my judgments, believe me.  Despite working hard for Obama’s election, I was disappointed enough by December to retire my Obama Flashbag and by February to start openly criticizing his bailout of the banks, the increase of troops in Afghanistan, and his too slow withdrawal from Iraq.

Still, there is nothing more or less that I  know about Obama’s Presidency today than I knew yesterday or even last month.  Ultimately, the future is not determined and there is still time for all sorts of people and movements and industries to influence it.  Not to mention the Media, who will pronounce the Obama 100 days a success or a failure or both, but all of it is too soon and without any food, like 100 Day 100 Chocolate Chip Cookies or 100 Day Red Wine or even 100 Day Greeting Cards with photographs of the First Dog on the front and it would say “I was going to get you a tee shirt for the first 100 Days, but all I could find was this chewed up bone” and then inside there could be a little cartoon of a reporter chewing on a bone and the bone could say 100 Days on it and we’d all chuckle as we opened our card and ate our 100 Day 100 Chip cookies and drank our 100 Day wine and told stories about this day, which is not at all like any other day, except it is.


5 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 7 Total Comments
Post your comment »
  1. collapse expand

    Fuck yeah! This is funny, and yet poignant and well reasoned! My least favorite holiday is “Sweetest Day”; what a load of greeting-card-lobby-made-up crap. Any journalist who covers it should be kicked right in the sweetest. And then condemned to a lifetime on the Sweetest Day beat.

    You wonder why people cover markers like this with so much salivation … and fail to do their job when stuff like, oh, lack of evidence regarding WMDs in Iraq perches right in front of their noses. God forbid newspapers lose their readers in the suburbs.

    Just for spite, we should do a story on Obama’s 147.36 days in office.

  2. collapse expand

    I’m with you. Its completely a media invention and totally meaningless.
    A major cable bigwig told me right after the inauguration – Obama will be THE story for a while…for at least the first 100 days.
    Well, now what? 100 days is over – and as the man himself said at his 100 day news conference tonight (yes, even President Obama was suckered in to the hype!) there are a lot more days, weeks, months to come.
    Let’s get over the “O”bession…and let the guy get some work done. ~ DD

  3. collapse expand

    It is the 100th day of President Obama’s administration.

    Sitcoms and dramas usually celebrate this milestone.

    Think of it as the 100th episode of the “O” show.

  4. collapse expand

    When I hear 100 days, I think of the kindergarten 100 day parties that each of my kids enjoyed. But they were a lot more useful. The kids learned about counting and grouping and dividing and then they had a great party with cookies!! Too bad, no t-shirts.

  5. collapse expand

    You’ve got to hand it to Obama. He took this media-created holiday and used it to call a press conference to trumpet his agenda/accomplishments. The 100 Days scorecard is Obama 1, Media 0.

Log in for notification options
Comments RSS

Post Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment

Log in with your True/Slant account.

Previously logged in with Facebook?

Create an account to join True/Slant now.

Facebook users:
Create T/S account with Facebook

My T/S Activity Feed


    About Me

    I'm an academic who does not believe in abstract knowledge. Like Marx, I think the point isn't just to describe the world, but to change it. Unlike Marx I don't have Engels sending me my monthly rent. So I have a day job teaching sociology at Middlebury College. In my real life, I'm a fighter (taekwondo) and a writer

    (Salon, Legal Affairs, NPR's "All Things Considered") and now this blog. My second book, American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and the Spirit of Our Time, is a critique of neoliberal capitalism through cosmetic surgery. American Plastic will be published by Beacon in 2010.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 221
    Contributor Since: December 2008
    Location:Montreal, QC & Burlington, VT

    What I'm Up To

    Buy the book

    If you want to buy my book now and avoid the holiday rush (obviously it will be a hot hot item come December- kinda like an i-Pad or maybe more like a Cabbage Patch Doll?) you can do it here.