Pretty Sure It’s Not Confirmation Bias
I am almost positive that I hear journalists use the title Mr. to describe our current president with a frequency that dwarfs any instances with the previous president*. It’s making me crazy.
The president of the United States has a title, and it is not Mister. I first started noticing it not long after his inauguration, but it has continued since then, even on supposedly “liberal” venues like National Public Radio. I heard it twice this morning on my way to work. It makes me more than a little disappointed to hear a lesser degree of respect shown to this president, although there are so many cultural and political issues at work that I can’t point to one thing as the culprit for it.
It makes me angry because I can think back to other democratic leaders who were not treated in such a fashion. Does anyone recall news organizations referring to the last Speaker of the House as Mrs. Pelosi? Hell no. So why is it okay to familiarize this president? It seems like an important question.
*Seriously, think back and remember how many times you heard President Bush referred to as Mr. Bush while he was the sitting president; now start counting how many times you hear the current president referred to as Mr. Obama. Right?
Edit: Once I was home I did some quick googling, and NPR has responded to this criticism by saying that it is a stylistic choice to sound more natural and that it has been their policy for years. While this is probably true, I still don’t recall it being used with the same frequency as it seems to be now. I would love to see someone put quotations through analysis and see if it really does happen with greater frequency. Because, like I said, it really doesn’t feel like confirmation bias; I wasn’t looking for it when I first began noticing it, so something may very well be different.