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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student


No one expects the modern media

Our professors at IU certainly have to balance being on the job with their personal lives.

With the incredible demands on the faculty and given how integrated Bloomington is with IU in general, we all have seen one of our beloved professors perhaps at dinner, shopping at Target or hitting the IU golf course.

They are a metaphor for what public figures must go through in order to accurately represent themselves and their causes.

As a fan of golf myself, I understand the urge to get outside with friends and play a quick round on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

But sometimes the national spotlight can make for odd timing and poor imaging, especially when the person being highlighted is someone expected to care for the well-being of ?constituents.

On Aug. 23, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, normally on the left side of the political spectrum, launched an all-out assault on President Barack Obama’s golf habit with a parody of the Gettysburg Address.

“FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible,” Dowd wrote.

Just as we are not expected to be constantly hitting the library, practice rooms or laboratories all of the time, Obama cannot be reasonably expected to work all of the time.

That being said, it is hard to ignore the dissonance of the commander in chief bending backward over a putt while juxtaposed with horrible images from the Foley beheading, Ferguson riots or Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Dowd has a serious point here, and while criticism here might be seen as petty, it does bring to mind the history of golfers in the White House.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a member at Augusta National, after all.

But the all-seeing eye of national attention can make it nearly impossible to ?escape.

Being president of the United States is no small feat, but we look to our leaders to be at the forefront of the charge.

Leaders are expected to lead by example, and unfair public perceptions to the contrary do not do much to reassure anxious Americans that the president is doing what he needs to be to help this country.

There is a reason why we make it so difficult to ascend to the highest office in the land.

We put our faith and trust in our representatives to work for the betterment of the country, but when idyllic pictures of a golf course clash against the horrible realities of modern war, it looks bad for everyone.

Republican or Democrat, all must work within the confines of our all-seeing eyes and always-hearing ears to project the image that is appropriate.

Maybe then government approval ratings would no longer be stuck on the levels of apathy and disgust.

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