On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart questions the Obama campaign's informal approach to email. Stewart gives examples of subject lines such as "Hey" and "Dinner?" Rather than what he calls "fake familiarity," Stewart suggests that these email subjects should focus on the real purpose: "Give me money."
Jon Stewart isn't the first one to criticize President Obama's emails. Back in December, White House reporter Keith Koffler took issue with the the "Hey" emails:
"Obama, who was sold to us as something surpassingly genuine, actually likes to pretend he's someone he's not. All his town halls on people's back porches, trips to Best Buy, and dinners with three dollar donors doesn't change that he is a card carrying member of the elite liberal ruling class.
"He was admitted around college or law school, and that's where his soul has resided ever since. Recently, with book sales buoyed by his presidential success, he's gained the financial status commensurate with his social standing.
"He should act that way. The regular guy stuff diminishes both him and the presidency. More than classy or low-brow, friendly or stiff, Americans want one thing more than anything else in their leader: Authenticity.
"'Hey,' is phony. And it's puny for a president."
Discussion Starters and Assignment Idea:
- What's your view of the President's approach to email? Do you agree with this criticism?
- What could be better subject lines that do, in reality, request donations?
- As practice, write two email messages on behalf of a presidential candidate's campaign (a candidate of your choice). What could you say to inspire people to give, and what subject line will you use? Check the tone by asking other students for their opinion.