A lot has been said about President Obama's impromptu Al Green song that he belted out for a fundraiser last month. The video went viral, and even the president's critics recognized the president can sing. And if you were watching "American Idol" on Wednesday, you would have seen it all over again.
That's because one of the contestants, Elise Testone, chose the Al Green song that Obama resurrected, “Let’s Stay Together.” And during a pre-taped segment, one of the guest mentors, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, couldn't help but note that Obama had belted out the tune. He suggested a sing off, and seconds later, the show was playing Testone and Obama side-by-side. Here's how it went down:
That raised the eyebrows of some. Noel Sheppard over at Newsbusters didn't like it:
In an election year?
Now, the reality is this should be wholesome, brainless fun, right?
But for eight years, the media bludgeoned Americans with how awful President George W. Bush was.
This man couldn’t mow the lawn at his ranch in Texas without being criticized for doing so.
Now, you can’t turn on a musical competition - in an election year! - without images of how marvelous the man in the White House is.
Can’t Americans spend a couple of hours watching television with their families without having propaganda about the president jammed down their throats?
It should be noted that Will.i.am is an ardent Obama supporter. In 2008 he starred in several pro-Obama videos featuring artists and celebrities:
And during the 2011 Super Bowl he even brought Obama into his halftime performance.
With all that said, it would make sense that Will.i.am would want to take every opportunity to bolster the president's image with the "Idol" audience. But it should also be noted that the show is a singing show, and Obama -- whether people like it or not -- did deliver one of the most popular singing performances of the year. And it was a performance even his critics enjoyed. For example, Glenn Beck has said on radio that it was good -- so good, in fact, that Obama should just quit being president and work on his singing career.
What do you think? Did "American Idol" go too far? Is television in general going too far to make Obama look good (consider also that ESPN has featured Obama for its annual segment "Barack-etology" -- where Obama makes his NCAA March Madness picks)?