The TMI President


By: Neil Braithwaite

In the 1960’s, AT&T’s public relations department supposedly coined the term “Information Age.”

This past weekend during his commencement address at Hampton University, President Obama may have coined another term, “TMI Age.”

Well, he didn’t exactly say TMI Age, but if you listened closely, it sure meets his description.

In case you missed President Obama’s remarks about “Too much information,” here they are.

“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter. And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — (laughter) — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.”

I’m not sure what iPods, Xboxes and Playstations have to do with what President Obama was talking about, however it’s fairly clear that he has some sort of a problem with too much information.

When the President of the United States defines information as a distraction and diversion that has the potential to put negative “pressure” on people, it begs a question, “What pressure?” I’d love to know what pressure the President is talking about but unfortunately he never explained it.

The President also implied that there is something called “emancipation” information, which is obviously somewhat different from regular information. Maybe iPods, iPads, Xboxes and PlayStations have something to do with emancipation information, but again, he didn’t explain that either.

The one thing President Obama did seem clear about was that people are definitely getting too much information these days – and it’s a potential problem.

If President Obama truly believes that too much information is having a negative affect on our country, our democracy and us, that’s a serious indictment of information.

But then again, maybe the President’s Blackberry phone was interfering with his teleprompter causing a glitch in its projection technology rendering the information unreadable, which made the president have to think on his feet putting him under a lot of pressure causing his remarks to be incoherent.

Maybe there is something to President Obama’s “TMI Age” theory.

Neil Braithwaite writes political commentary and satire.