Lots of people are outraged at BP CEO Tony Hayward for going to a yacht race, but not at President Obama for going golfing. This is indeed impressive hypocrisy.
Now, if you actually asked most pundits, they would, I think, admit that there is no actual reason why Hayward shouldn’t go to the damn yacht race. The problem, they’ll say, was not that he was neglecting actual duties, so much as that he was “sending the wrong message” or “it made him look bad.”
Well, yes; because the pundits and commentariat decree that it makes him look bad. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and an example of the extent to which the media creates its own reality.
Of course, the White House itself didn’t help matters by criticizing Hayward. Rahm Emmanuel himself used the “it’s a bad PR decision” line. I guess it is, but only because you all have decided to make it into one.
Let me make it clear, by the way, that there’s no reason Obama shouldn’t be golfing either. The fact is, there is nothing that either Hayward or Obama need to do that they cannot do from a yacht race or a golf course. I suspect that at their level, almost all of their “oversight” can be done using cell phones.