President Obama Defends Doing Funny or Die’s ‘Between Two Ferns’

Barack Obama two ferns Funny or

President Obama, in the latest unconventional appearance to promote signups for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, defended his interview with Funny or Die’s “Between Two Ferns” host Zach Galifianakis as in keeping with presidential tradition.

ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd on Thursday asked Obama about criticism that Abraham Lincoln would not have stooped to such humor. Obama replied that “if you read back on Lincoln, he loved telling the occasional bawdy joke and being out among regular folk.” He added that “one of the hardest things about being president is being in this bubble that is artificial and unless you make a conscious effort, you start sounding like some Washington stiff.”

Bill O’Reilly had criticized Obama’s appearance on “Between Two Ferns” as something that Lincoln wouldn’t have done.

The White House strategy has been for Obama to appear on talk shows, niche programming and, in the case of ESPN, sports shows where he riffs on pop culture while getting in a word about the need for health insurance signups before a March 31 deadline. The idea has been to reach audiences, particularly young males, who may not otherwise be watching the political machinations in the Beltway. Obama said that as president “you have to remind yourself of the wonderful people that you are supposed to be serving, who have a sense of humor, and aren’t thinking every day about position papers.”

In another example, on Wednesday, Obama appeared via satellite on “The Ellen Show.” When host Ellen DeGeneres mentioned that her Oscar “selfie” broke Obama’s record for Twitter retweets, he jokingly called the celebrity selfie a “pretty cheap stunt” before talking about his favorite TV shows, shopping at the Gap and, of course, healthcare.

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  1. Geronimo Jackson says:

    I think the president should be commended for what he’s been doing. Times are tough for many of Americans and I think it’s a good thing to lighten up every now and then. It gives us a little hope that things will get better if we just hang in there. All those people walking around with a stick stuck up their butt could well to just tone it down a bit. A week or so ago we were reminded that “we come from dust and to dust we shall return”. Peace be with you.

  2. Simonzee1 says:

    These appearances just show that he is not interested in educating America or informing them beyond spin. America under its constitution should be a light to the world…instead its news presenters can’t even get our Prime Ministers name right or the geography right. Is this arrogance or a hopeless education system? It’s embarrasing. These are the news outlets sprouting informed commentary on Libya and the Ukraine….???? guess the shift to Asia is still being cobbled together by the Obama administration. My advice to these reporters is not to ask John McCain or the Whitehouse for any details on this region…that could be more embarrasing.

  3. robin stewart says:

    Okay, so I must be the only person living who remembers President Nixon on Laugh-In…I don’t think so, at least this was for a good cause…

    • Rob.H. says:

      Yes, using Richard Nixon as a guide. The problem is he is appearing on these shows making an ass of himself because his health program is poorly conceived, while not attending to things like IRS scandals, Putin restoring the Soviet Union, Americans getting jobs, Iran getting nukes, NSA spying on everyone… He has become a characature – the ultimate media-whore.

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