why do they call president obama mr obama
Attentive listeners from all over the country call or email with thoughtful insights about NPR's coverage and policies. But there's one thing many do not like. On almost a daily basis, they tell us that NPR's policy of referring to President Obama as "Mr. Obama" on second reference is disrespectful. "In speaking or in writing, the proper form of address for the president of the United States is 'The President' or 'Mr.
President,' wrote Lana Slack of Alexandria, Va. "The President is due the respect of his office. "
Although many listeners find this second reference offensive, it is not a new policy. NPR has used "Mr. " since the mid-1970s when President Gerald Ford was in office. The president is the only person whom NPR routinely refers to with the Mr. honorific on second reference. If NPR does a story, say on James Hamilton, an Ohio car dealer, he will be Hamilton on second reference, not Mr.
Hamilton. "NPR has used Mister as the alternative term of respect on second (and subsequent) references to the president of the United States for decades," Ron Elving, NPR's senior supervising editor of the Washington desk, told Ombudsman Alicia Shepard. "I personally have been Washington editor for three presidents and we have done it consistently through this time. " To confirm Elving's statement, we pulled audio from the last three presidencies.
President George H. W. Bush All Things Considered President Bill Clinton All Things Considered President George W. Bush Morning Edition A few listeners accept that NPR's policy has been around for years, but still find it wrong on principle. "It has not been any more respectable to call Presidents Bush, Clinton, Ford, Carter or Reagan 'Mr. ' than to call President Obama so," wrote Roland Hayes of Newton Square, Pa.
NPR will maintain its policy for consistency sake, said Ellen Weiss, NPR's senior vice president for news. "We think this policy is as appropriate for President Obama as it has been for previous presidents and don't see any compelling reason to change it," she said.
Read more about A reporter, commenting on his speech to the U. N. refers to him as "Mister Obama". Cut to Scott Pelley, who also refers to him as "Mister Obama". Am I right that it's generally accepted to call individuals who have achieved high public office by their title? Present OR past? Or at least "Former president Clinton". Maybe I'm being picky, but it pisses me off.
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