Obama Faces SnookiGate

President Obama was given a pop culture test on The View this week. He knew Lindsay Lohan was in jail, but said he didn't know who Snooki was.

”Should Snooki run as mayor of Wasilla?” And he replied, “I’ve got to admit, I don’t know who Snooki is.”

But, at the White House Correspondents dinner, he knew who she was. In a quip about the new tax on tanning beds law, he said:

“This next provision (in the health care bill) is called the Jersey Shorah. It reads, ‘The following individuals shall be excluded from the indoor tanning tax within this bill: Snooki, JWOWW, The Situation and House minority leader John Boehner.”

Snooki meanwhile isn't thrilled about Obama either. On the season premiere of Jersey Shore Thursday night, she said she switched to spray tanning because of Obama and his tax. [More...]

She added:

McCain would never put a 10 percent tax on tanning. Because he’s pale and would probably want to be tan.”

Snooki, in real life, got arrested in New Jersey yesterday for disorderly conduct, being drunk on the beach in the daytime. The group is back in Seaside Heights filming season three -- while season two in South Beach is just hitting the air.

And if you think no one is watching Jersey Shore, think again. Thursday night's ratings were off the charts:

The premiere of the second season of “Jersey Shore” attracted 5.3 million viewers on Thursday night, according to Nielsen, the network’s biggest season premiere in more than seven years. ...Among MTV’s core demographic of viewers 12 to 34 years old, the season premiere is the No. 1 cable telecast of the year.

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    Of course (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 07:19:50 AM EST
    The original question -  "Should Snookie run for mayor of Wasilla?" was a stupid one to begin with, especially, as Snookie lives nowhere near Alaska. Can't let an opportunity go by to take a dig at Palin - and give her more free airtime, and only dig in the heels of those who love her.

    Maybe if the ladies on "The View" want to ask stupid questions of the president, they might want to first bone up on their geography so they themselves don't look like idiots.

    Barbara Walters - how far you've fallen.

    Anyone who actually "loves" (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 11:37:29 AM EST
    Palin already has their heels in so deep that an Alaska-sized asteroid hitting the earth probably wouldn't budge them.

    She, her ideological entourage and our very healthy need for occasional comic relief, are all screaming at the same time for some good old-fashioned ridicule and satire.    



    Which, of course (3.50 / 2) (#25)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 12:31:43 PM EST
    Doesn't change the fact that it was a stupid question and all it was intended to do was be a gratuitous slam on Palin.  Seems they didn't count on the fact that it made Obama look silly as well. For a moment, they actually put him on her level.  Great job View ladies!

    Gratuitous Slam on Palin? (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:03:10 PM EST
    You mean like, uncalled for, lacking good reason or unwarranted?

    Not having seen the show, it appears the malapropisms frefudiate, and obliviated, appear to be inbred cousins. Sounds like Wasila and the town at the Jersey Shore are interchangeable.

    And as far as a good reason, well, Palin fans, and protectors should be embarrassed at every opportunity, imo. Nothing like holding up a mirror to help people rethink their view.

    And as far as unwarranted, well as long as Palin is striving to rally the most despicable morons whose bigoted and racist views are a stain on America, aka the rabid right, the attack are clearly warranted.

    But good to know that Palin has her defenders here. Don't forget to feed and water that white horse of yours.


    Yes (2.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 03:23:37 PM EST
    Good to see you understand the word.  Palin had nothing to do with what was going on, but they had to include her and in the process made themselves and Obama look silly.

    But I'm sure you will disagree as usual.


    silly only to people (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 03:30:02 PM EST
    who pay undue attention to anything that has a remote possibility of making Obama look bad..

    Particularly when the wagons circled around Palin are being assaulted.


    Absurd (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 03:31:18 PM EST
    If they were talking to a sports figure instead of Obama a politician, it would be absolutely normal to obliquely refer to another sports figure, particularly an opponent who is a fool, and poke fun at them. Hardly gratuitous, imo.

    But, for some reason, whenever Palin is brought up in any negative way, you reflexively jump to her defense. Wonder why?


    there's no such thing (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:05:35 PM EST
    as a gratuitous slam on the Fox-scripted Sarah Show, imo.

    American politics has been a full-contact blood sport for 200 years and she's quite willfully thrown in her lot with the side that's been taking fighting dirty (down) to a whole new level, at least since Nixon.


    Also (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:18:41 PM EST
    not sure how being tone deaf to the irrelevancies of goof ball reality t.v puts one "on the same level" as a former-VP candidate who reads of her hand at Tea Party rallies and goes into deer-in-the-head-lights and Fox bumpersticker mode whenever she's confronted with policy questions.

    Oh thank you :) (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 12:47:24 PM EST
    My spouse was giving me grief, said that according to some media report it was college educated women who all watched The View. He said that my not watching it was evidence that I was becoming a Redneck girl.

    I scoffed at the idea that all these college educated women flocked to The View.  Which ones?  I'm the only one that I know of at this time who isn't working their tail off or seeking a new opportunity to work their tail off.  Who's laying around the house scratching their sheepskin and watching The View?


    And I am not signing Barack Obama's (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 12:53:13 PM EST
    bday card until he signs mine.  Gimmmee a break here!  Oy the absurdity.

    Well, I'm not watching Jersey Shore (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 08:46:25 AM EST
    And I don't care if I'm the last person in the country not to.

    You will have to beat me in (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 10:09:28 AM EST
    order to be the last person in the country not watching it :)

    I'm not watching it either.. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by dk on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 10:27:51 AM EST
    but we all know who she is, though.  ;)

    If someone handed you a photo of Snooki (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 10:52:53 AM EST
    Would you know it was Snooki?

    I could google and change for myself (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 10:55:37 AM EST
    the fact that I can't identify Snooki on sight, but I don't want to clog up my noodle with things I can't use :)

    there is no mistaking her (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:18:20 PM EST
    (Snooki) for anyone else, particularly in a full body photo. No one else is that tiny with that particular shape and mode of preferred attire.

    Me (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 10:28:10 AM EST

    A niece is heading to the Jersey Shore now, all excited about it.  Turns out it has become a tourist destination for those who wish to emulate, I gather, the shallow of mind who populate the show . . . and apparently the Shore, too.  Blecchh.


    Don't believe it (none / 0) (#51)
    by Yman on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:21:54 PM EST
    I've lived at the Jersey shore for over 10 years now, and the self-professed Guidos/Guidettes of MTV's "Jersey Shore" are but a tiny, tiny microcosm of the Shore, and in no way representative of the rest of the Jersey coast.

    But, yeah ....... blecccchhhh.


    Good. But y'know, between (none / 0) (#53)
    by Cream City on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 03:52:58 PM EST
    the Sopranos and Jersey Shore, youse guys gotta work on image. :-)

    Nahhhhh ..... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Yman on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 04:14:47 PM EST
    Fuhgedabowdit!!! :)

    I'm amonf millions of (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:18:32 PM EST
    Colombians who aren't watching Jersey Shore, either!

    arrgh,,,,among... changing continents (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:19:01 PM EST
    has not helped my spelling.

    Been wondering where you were re TL. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 02:15:09 PM EST
    Hope all is well.

    Down in Colombia right now (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 02:56:56 PM EST
    visiting my child. Having a great time! I'll add more in an open thread either tomorrow or Monday, we're about to go to the farm, so no internet, I think.

    Don't worry -- (none / 0) (#22)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 11:39:17 AM EST
    as long as I'm around, you'll never be alone in being the last.

    Re reality teevee shows, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've seen one of the many offerings apparently available.  Couple of episodes in the early yrs of Survivor, and ... not sure about anything after that.

    Watched maybe 2 American Idle shows, and saw a YT clip of Lulu singing her one major US hit song.  One recent DWTStars (because Jeralyn brought it to my attention here).

    Otherwise, I'm way behind and out of touch with contemporary mainstream pop culture as well as the knuckledragging low-brow Snooki variety of same.  Usually, unless some of these pop people are getting arrested and/or are on their way to the slammer, they don't appear on my radar screen.


    Had to look up (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 11:28:32 AM EST
    Snooki.  In fact, in his WH dinner joke, of the 4 people mentioned

    Snooki, JWOWW, The Situation and House minority leader John Boehner.

    I'm only familiar with Mr Tan in a Can.  What/Who is "JWOWW"?  And is "The Situation" some reference to Wolf Blitzer, or is this yet another rock guitarist with an ultra-hip name, like the dude in U2?

    I will allow Obama to know who Lindsay Lohan is, since there's been some years since she's been in the pop culture spotlight, there's the nifty alliteration and 2-syllable balance in the name, and apparently (from what I'm told) she actually has some acting talent.

    But knowing who Snooki is is not permitted.  At this point.  Not until he picks up the pace and starts governing with some cojones domestically, and stops governing like a Repub overseas.  

    JWOWW (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:27:13 PM EST
    is another cast member on the show Jersey Shore as is Mike the Situation. The show is ridiculously banal, but the audience response to the cast is not. And how they turned this debacle of a show into big bucks for themselves, going to salaries of five figures per episode, huge fees for showing up at events, going on strike as a group when they didn't think they were being paid enough and forcing MTV to accede to their salary demands is mildly entertaining and does say something about our culture.

    I doubt the Obamas let their daughters watch the show, so there really is no reason Obama would know who they are. Of course a script writer wrote the joke, but someone would have explained to him who they are. He doesn't just blindly repeat things, and his delivery is perfect -- at both the dinner and the View.

    Again, it's a post in jest, that some are making a big deal of this and calling it SnookiGate or a flipflop.  


    As Craig Ferguson said last night (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:18:51 PM EST
    "He's the President. He doesn't have time to watch the Jersey Shore. Then again. . .he did have time to go on The View. . . . What are you doing? I've been on The View!"

    Who or what is "Snooki"? (none / 0) (#1)
    by cymro on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 02:07:59 AM EST
    Sounds like a toy, or a cartoon character? I'm with Obama on this one. Never heard of it before. Is it really a topic of sufficient importance to merit a post on TL?

    the point is he did know of her (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 03:12:03 AM EST
    but told the ladies on the View he didn't. Watch the video.

    Criminal defense lawyers have to stay on top of pop culture, for when we voir dire prospective jurors. We have to know the things that are important to them. And of course, I like to watch for because it's like going to another planet. The things that come out of their mouths, unintended. Like Snooki washing laundry in the sink saying she feels like a pilgrim, back in the '20's. Or Vinnie saying Ronnie got obliviated at a bar. He meant obliterated, but it's a great word...obliviated, meaning obliterated and oblivious (clueless.)

    It also points out (once again) Obama's reliance on speech and joke writers. He was just reading his speech lines at the Dinner, and probably had no clue who the Jersey Shore cast are, but you can tell that every woman in the audience did. The NY Times has 4 articles on her this week.  


    I thought it was just in jest (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by robrecht on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 06:44:27 AM EST
    Nothing wrong with a little humor at TalkLeft every once in a while.

    I didn't know who Snooki was either.  Agree that obliviate is a great word.  It may even be a real word according to Dictionary.com, both as a verb and even used as a noun in Harry Potter.


    Me neither (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 07:03:28 AM EST
    Never seen Jersey Shore.

    I don't mind Obama reading a joke to the press club that he himself did not quite get.  I get J's point, but I can't get worked up about it.

    I do like 'obliviate'. And I have to confess to liking Palin's 'refudiate' too. (refute + repudiate)


    Yes, it's in jest (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:14:45 PM EST
    And if you're going to act as if (4.25 / 4) (#8)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 09:00:10 AM EST
    you are President Pop Culture and way cool by going on the View (I guess that was the reason), then he blew it.

    Not that it matters to me.  I'm so uncool that I care about the economy.  When Obama goes on teevee to talk about jobs -- jobs for others, not doing such nonsense just to keep his job -- I'll tune in. . . .


    Jeralyn, I'd like to copy this post (none / 0) (#38)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 01:38:19 PM EST
    and use it as a message to my intro sociology classes. Would you mind?

    Good Lord. n/t (none / 0) (#3)
    by kmblue on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 03:26:46 AM EST

    There's another possibility: (none / 0) (#9)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 09:40:53 AM EST
    that he knew quite well who Snooki is (look at how he laughs when Joy asks the question - that was not the reaction of someone who didn't know who she is), and it was easier to play dumb about her than be (wait for it) snookered into a discussion that would have only gone one place: the intellectual and other equivalances between Snooki and Sarah Palin...now wouldn't that discussion have provided a trove of headlines: President thinks Snooki As Smart as Palin, or President thinks Snooki As Qualified as Palin, or Snooki Could Beat Palin, Says President...

    I mean, if I were Obama, I would have feigned ignorance, too; it would be a much smaller hit than the trap that was being laid for him on The View.

    Joke Written By Speechwriter (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jade Jordan on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 09:42:09 AM EST
    Just because he read a joke written by a staffer does not mean he knew who she was.

    Do you really think he writes his own jokes?  That past career as a comedian is really helpful.

    Obama is wrong no matter what (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by waldenpond on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 11:01:18 AM EST
    on this.  Dont' you see.....  if he knew who she was, you get to basically call him a liar, if he didn't know who she was originally, he's out of touch, and to top it off, if he uses speech writers, you get to call him incompetant, lacking in humor or lazy.  It's a win, win, win.

    I'm fine if he's out of touch (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 11:08:58 AM EST
    with Snooki :)

    I see this as a positive, as I never heard (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 02:16:17 PM EST
    of Snooki.  

    So he tells a joke (none / 0) (#48)
    by Nemi on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:47:38 AM EST
    - reads a joke - that he doesn't himself understand? Makes you wonder what else he reads to us without understanding it.

    What an opportunity for his speech writers. And do we even know who they really are? :)


    I'm fourteen minutes in (none / 0) (#11)
    by CMike on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 09:59:21 AM EST
    I can't go any further.

    How on earth did you (none / 0) (#20)
    by prittfumes on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 11:29:34 AM EST
    last that long?

    Never get that time back (none / 0) (#23)
    by waldenpond on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 11:52:16 AM EST
    and it's popular with a certain type of person. huh.   So unattractice, unintelligent, basically loser lifestyles?  I just don't get the appeal.

    Maybe it's the same appeal (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 12:01:58 PM EST
    as those so-bad-they're-good B and C sci-fi flicks from fifties and early sixties..

    Which brings us back to the roots of the fascination with Palin again...I'd like to think.


    please stop changing the subject (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 10:11:14 PM EST
    to Palin. This is not an open thread.

    Hey, he's a busy guy. (none / 0) (#41)
    by EL seattle on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 02:20:00 PM EST
    There's no reason that Obama should feel the need to keep a full databank of pop trivia ready for instantaneous retrieval at a moment's notice.

    If the president didn't know who Snoopy is, that would be a bad sign.

    If he claimed he didn't know who Snorky is, then personally I'd be kind of suspicious of the guy.  

    But Snooki might be just a flash in the pan, a pre-fab phenom, this year's model, and so last month.  Hopefully, Obama has his important pop cultural priorities straight, so I think he deserves some slack on this one.

    True (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 03:22:15 PM EST
    But he would have read his speech before he gave it and he has a whole staff who would have and should have explained it to him - especially if they wanted him to deliver the joke in the right way.

    They might have explained it at the time (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by CST on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 09:20:20 AM EST
    but wasn't that a while ago?  Doesn't necessarily mean you retain that information.  Especially on something so glib and unimportant.

    I find this whole "story"/"debate" to be pretty amusing.  Who cares if he knows who Snookie is.  Honestly I thought we were talking about True Blood.  But than I realized that's Sookie - no n.  And I went back to not caring.

    Btw - who else thinks that both Snookie and Sookie are completely rediculous names?


    Who or what is Snorky? (none / 0) (#49)
    by cymro on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 12:49:19 PM EST
    I've never heard of he/she/it before, either.

    I do know Snoopy. And, at this moment Ramsey Lewis is playing "Hang on Sloopy" on my iPod. But I bet I don't get any bonus points for being in touch with 60's pop culture!


    Are you 48-49 years old? (none / 0) (#50)
    by EL seattle on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 01:13:24 PM EST
    (Plus or minus 3 years.)  If not, that's okay, you pobably weren't part of that cultural subset.  But a person of Obama's generation should probably have at least some memory of who Snorky is, I'd think.  (Even if he wouldn't admit it.)

    Snooki, probably not so much.  It's all about priorities, aftere all.  Obama has probably memorized the names of all the senators, state reps. and governors (and that's not even international types).  If that happens to bump a few cultural refs out of his instant-recall memory, well, that's okay with me.