Election 2012

Rolling Stone Continues Proud Tradition of Kissing Barack Obama's Ring


Question authority

Back when Rolling Stone interviewed President Barack Obama in 2010, I had a little fun at the expense of ageless/deathless interviewer Jann Wenner, because his first three questions to the most powerful man on earth were about how awful those damn dirty Republicans are ("When did you realize that the Republicans had abandoned any real effort to work with you," etc.).

Not that this was such a far cry from Wenner's 2008 interview with Obama ("What do you think went wrong with the Bush administration? How did things get so bad in these last eight years? What happened to us?"), but at least that version had a lot of cheerfully pointless talk about Bob Dylan, Jay-Z, and the Dead. We should expect nothing less (or more) from Jann Wenner.

But what about Douglas Brinkley, superstar pop historian and all-around serious man of letters? Surely he would bring the hard-hitting gravitas to Rolling Stone's 2012 interview (which was previously blogged here by Ed Krayewski and Brian Doherty)? Maybe follow up on Obama's 2008 promises to Wenner about ending "the revolving door that's been created between people in government and K Street," or "shifting the paradigm" on the Drug War?

Er, no.

Not the best angle

Here are the first five questions that Hunter S. Thompson's literary executor asked a sitting president of the United States on behalf of the sixties' most famous living counterculture magazine:

Let's start with how the campaign has been going. Ever since the first debate, Romney has abruptly shifted his position on a whole host of issues, from his tax plan to financial regulation. 

He's the president of Jann Wenner!

Many observers have commented on how Romney has misrepresented or even changed his positions in this last leg of the campaign – that he's been like a chameleon on plaid. Do you feel that he has lied to the American people? 

Where were you when you first saw Romney's speech in Boca Raton about the 47 percent? What was your first reaction? 

What has surprised you the most about the Republican campaign this year? 

Oh, Douglas, you've done it again!

Do you have any fear that Roe v. Wade could be overturned if the Republicans win the presidency and appoint another Supreme Court justice? 

A later question begins with the statement, "The auto bailout helped rescue states like Ohio from economic disaster." And though Brinkley didn't have time to get to all that droney, druggy, civil-liberties stuff that Rolling Stone readers would presumably be interested in, he did end on this important note:

Halloween's coming up. If you could have Mitt Romney dress in a costume, what should he be for Halloween? 

I don't know a good answer to that, but I do have a costume suggestion for Douglas Brinkley and Rolling Stone: Next time, dress as a journalist.

NEXT: Defining Radical Down

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  1. "Mr. President, your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?"

    1. Well, I had to look that up. I knew it sounded familiar.

    2. And I bet Obama would answer, "A tough question, but a fair one."

  2. ageless/deathless interviewer Jann Wenner

    I believe "undead" may be the term you are groping for here.

    1. Braindead might also apply.

      1. Cocaine is a hell of a drug.


    2. I want to know how Jann manages to get any coherent questions out of his mouth with Obama's cock stuck so deeply down his throat.


      That is quite a neat trick.

    3. Just because Wenner is a soulless, blood-sucking parasite doesn't necessarily mean he's "undead".

      1. This is why 21rst century pop culture sucks ass.

        When vampires and zombies are so beloved that we can't even criticize politicians by evoking them is a new low under any metric.

  3. Do Rolling Stone commenters ever pine for the golden days when Loder was in charge?

    1. Hell no! Not nearly as many opportunities for politician fellatio back then.

  4. Ring? Where is he wearing that ring that's being blown, I mean kissed.

    1. It's a cock ring.

      1. With Elvish written on it that can only be seen after being put to flame

  5. "Mr. President, by what authority to you claim the power to kill American citizens without due process?"

    Oh wait, that's a question an unbiased interviewer would ask, not a mindless fellator. My mistake entirely.

  6. Rolling Stone's readers, I imagine, don't want to see President Obama challenged any more than the writing staff wants to do it. It's embarrassing to you and me, but to them it probably feels like journalism.

    1. Can mindless partisans feel embarrassment? If joe is an indicator, and I think we can agree that he is, the answer is "no".

      1. Even lawyers still have some diminished sense of shame. But not your diehard partisan fellator. How DO they do that?

        1. I don't know, maybe they never had any sense of integrity or shame to start with.

        2. Simple. The only shame they experience is the one that comes from breaking the expected norms of the group. They're chicken shit to the core, completely afraid of the risk that comes from being an actual individual.

          1. B-b-b-but individualism is selfish! Everyone says so!

          2. TEAM BE RULED is also TEAM BORG?

            1. It's actually Team Bitchy High School Clique

              1. TEAM YOUR MOM?

            2. TEAM U R BLEED

  7. I don't think that's his ring they're puckering up to.

    1. Well, it is ring-shaped.

  8. I eagerly await Cosmo's hard-hitting take down of the president and its editorial choice for the election.

    1. I believe the headline refers to BHO's anal ring.

      1. Cosmo cover: Barack Obama's Anal Ring: the Naughty Bedroom Secrets that Keep Michelle on Edge! And How You Can Too!

        1. Thread Winner!

        2. Cosmo cover: Barack Obama's Anal Ring: the Naughty Bedroom Secrets of our Great Leader. Obama reveals 5 ways he fucks the American people with their pants on!

    2. Tiger Beat had some scathing words for the President's "totally gay" taste in music.

  9. The long and storied tradition of sycophantic douches having punchable faces continues apace.

  10. Submitted without comment:


    1. Four cop cars involved? Would I be going out on a limb if I said this could be convoy related? And that either a civlian caused the pile up, or else it just "happened" and no charges will be filed?

      Limb too long. I'll withhold judgement until more facts are known.

      1. Every time I've seen a convoy of political VIP vehicles they have been traveling very close together and well above the speed limit. If the front car suddenly brakes hard for any reason, it's not in the least surprising that the others would suddenly find themselves up Harry Reid's pooper.

        1. "it's not in the least surprising that the others would suddenly find themselves up Harry Reid's pooper."

          I assume you mean moreso than they already were.

        2. I assume they stay close together to prevent other vehicles from being able to cut in between them, and kidnap Majority Leader Reid for $100 billion in ransom.

      2. Since it was a chain reaction crash, that means at least 3 of the 4 cop cars were following too close or not paying attention.

    2. They're saying he's in 'good condition', to which I comment it would be awesome if his jaw needed to be wired shut for a few months.

    3. without reading it i have sympathy for Reid and his family...

      yet i still don't give a crap about Giffords.

      Hear that Tulpa!??!!

      I still don't care!!!

      1. People who don't give a crap about something don't tend to bring it up. Especially not with emotionally charged invective, as was on display in the Loughner-Giffords thread.

    4. Sarah Palin strikes again.

      1. Palin, by placing crosshai...steering wheel icons over maps of political advesaries, has endangered lives and lowered the political discourse in our peaceful, post 1A society. Despicable!

  11. C'mon, don't you get that he conducted the whole interview while wearing a clown nose. No, not a red one.

  12. ("When did you realize that the Republicans had abandoned any real effort to work with you," etc

    On a scale of 7 to 10, rate your own job performance, 7 being really awesome, 10 being so good, we dare not stare directly into the light of your brilliance?

    1. Not being so good at math, I bet Obama would think that infinity is a number and just pick that.

      1. Being humble, I think Obama would stick to something realistic, like 11.

        1. Obama scale goes to 11.

          Why don't you just make 10 more awesome?

          Because Obama's goes to 11.

          1. He can only give himself a ten. As he admitted, he has a hard time explaining himself so us proles can understand.

          2. Definitely 11? because, unlike the simpletons who vote for him, The One (pbuh) can conceive numbers greater than the sum of the digits on both hands. It's truly awe inspiring watching his unrivaled genius at work, Wenner was indeed fortunate to be allowed the honor of being one of the One's (pbuh) countless prophets.

          3. I'd pay money for the footage of him getting lost backstage at a campaign event. It has to exist.

  13. "The auto bailout helped rescue states like Ohio from economic disaster."

    Now that's begging the question.

  14. Remember when Vanity Fair had Annie Leibovitz photograph the Clinton administration? Yeah, I do too. The more things stay the same, the more they stay the same.

    1. At least Vanity Fair doesn't present itself as a counterculture icon.

      1. Rolling Stone hasn't been 'counterculture' since the 70s.

        1. Who reads it anymore anyway? Other than reason editors?

          1. My cousin reads it. He once told me that he was convinced that the bailouts were a good thing after reading an article by Matt Tiabbi.

            1. Dude, I think it's time to take your cousin out on a snipe hunt, since he obviously will believe anything he's told.

              1. He lives in a converted chicken coop in Bolinas, CA, so there's been no hope for him for a very long time.

                1. Your cousin is Buckethead? He shreds on guitar.

            2. Ouch.

              How does one even reply to such a statement?


            3. Matt Taibbi has a little fan club of bank griefers who hate both parties. Think ZeroHead - the website, with some music articles wrapped into it.

            4. "He once told me that he was convinced that the bailouts were a good thing after reading an article by Matt Tiabbi."

              Did he, like RS, do a complete 180 once the OcuPutsches started?

        2. Can a magazine which has only ever existed to promote collectivist status quos and sing hosannah unto totalitarian regimes and despotic mass-murders EVER be considered "counterculture"?

          1. I hope you're being sarcastic since it used to counterculture to love Che and Mao.

            1. That's what I'm getting at. It's a complete misnomer, like Tom Morello's love of nomenklatura being construed as raging "against" the machine.

    2. Gross. Young Rahm looked just as smug and smarmy. Actually, they all do. These are the people we're supposed to defer to as our betters?

      1. That photoshoot (as I browsed through it again myself-- I saw the original when he was elected) really brings home the truism that politics is entertainment for ugly people.

        1. It's a weird blurring of celebrity culture and the cult of power. Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair are both used to treating their interview subjects with a flattering, "aspirational" sort of high gloss approach. It is odd that more people don't seem to get how icky it is to give politicians the same starry-eyed treatment you give starlets or novelists or indie bands.

          1. Like James Lipton, if he were rolling.

              1. Yeah, except more fellatio and back rubs.

                1. You may be onto something here, General. MDMA sounds like the perfect way to survive the last week of election season.

                  Except now I'm extra bummed I'm not going to Freaknight tonight.

    3. Where's Monica? Or, at least, the dress?

  15. I think by "kissing his ring" they meant, "tossing his salad"

  16. Sycophants are obviously in charge at Rolling Stone. Truly pathetic.

  17. P.J. O'Rourke has liquid shit, by proxy, streaming out of his pores by ever having been associated with that flagging, sinking hunk of fecal matter known as Rolling Stone.

    1. Oh come on, he raised the tone there for a while.

      1. My point.

        1. Ah, sorry, I misunderstood....

  18. Mitt Romney is in "campaign mode". You remember, Obama's cute little euphemism for "lies I told to get a elected". Remember how you giggled like a little fucking school girl whenever he used it? Fuck you Douglas Brinkley.

  19. Of course Rolling Stone is appreciative of Obama just like some rag like "Fundamentalist Nutjob" lobs softballs to the GOP candidate.

    1. And of course you can't come up with any actual evidence of your dumbass assertion.

    2. Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

      Of course Rolling Stone is appreciative sucks Obama['s balls]

      More accurate. Thank me later.

    3. Nice deflection.

  20. And it seems like just a couple of hours ago that Glenn Greenwald was getting the hearty thumbs up for his incredible declaration that the media treats all presidents equally.

    1. I thought his point was the MSM loves power.

  21. This was the real cover, not some parody, right? They actually have stories about Neil Young and The Who? In 20-fucking-12?

    1. Neil and Pete will always be more interesting than Justin Beiber.

      Quality popular music is finished forever.

      1. I wouldn't say "forever." Someday there will hopefully be a revival of quality music (mainstream and indie, which has been pretty pathetic for a while too). Eventually, autotuned bad Eurodisco and trash rap and echoing warble voiced hipsters with loop pedals will be deservedly looked back upon as being the utter crap it is. I think there have been so many advancements in music technology the past fifteen years and the technology kind of replaced the importance of good songwriting. Now every untalented hack can make music catering to the lowest common denominator and sound "good" enough to be played on the radio.

        1. Hopefully you are right.

          But think about this - if in 1790 one said "quality baroque music is finished forever" that would be correct up until today. And really no one thinks baroque will stage a creative comeback.

          Of course "popular" music will continue it just won't be innovative again.

          1. In the confines of what is classified as "pop" I'd say just about everything has been done already. "New" genres of pop are merely crappier and more annoying reworks of previous genres. But that doesn't mean that there will never be quality pop music or originality again even if the period of revolutionary innovation ended a while ago. The same goes for art and film as well. The second half of the 20th Century was a major cultural revolution and changed everything.

            Then the internet, satellite radio and digital home recording came and revolutionized everything about the music industry all over again, for better or (mostly) for worse. I think when so many musicians know that conforming to a certain homogeneous commercial pop or indie sound can get them famous with or without major label support, too many will willingly conform because it's easy. These homogeneous sounds don't require a whole lot of effort or talent to write or produce, and the quantity quickly becomes a glut. There are quality acts out there, but it requires a ton of patience and effort to sift through the glut to find the few gems that aren't conforming to the homogeneity.

            1. As a musician with very discriminatory opinions about music myself, I've been very hesitant to launch my own career until I'm positive I've produced something that stands apart and lives up to my tastes that I myself would willingly throw down full cost for the new CD. (And I haven't done that much with new acts since the turn of the century.) If all musicians took this crippling perfectionist mindset, I think we'd have more quality if less quantity.

            2. There hasn't been anything original in music since the death of Josquin des Prez. 😉

          2. Kool and the Gang is kinda baroque.

        2. here is the great Bach Brandenburg #3 - look at the intensity and the hot chicks on strings.


          Thank me later.

          1. I'll thank you now only because I am a contrarian.

      2. For every Neil Young and Pete Townshend there was a Leif Garrett and Shawn Cassidy. Plus ca change...

        1. True, but where's today's Pete Townshend, or Neil Young, or Lennon, McCartney, Page, Fogherty, Jagger, Richards, Gilmour, Bowie, Mercury, etc., etc.

          1. Those people are all still around.
            Except Mercury is dead and Bowie retired.

          2. I thought I was today's Neil Young.

            1. You're more like today's Dan Fogelberg.

    2. Well, every song that has come out since 1975 sucks. Rolling Stone told me.

      1. 'Born to Run' came out in 1975 and one of the critics declared it the future of music.

        "I saw rock 'n' roll's future?and its name is Bruce Springsteen"


        It was Bruce's last great record.

        1. and they dissed layla.....the animals have no shame.

          1. Rightly so. Layla sucks, as does Eric Crapton.

        2. Springsteen had any good records?

    3. Neil Young and The Who are far from being the most obsolete entity on any cover that promises a story on Anonymous.

  22. I am no Obama fan, but one thing I know for sure, if Romneys lips are moving, he is lying.


  23. When did you realize that the Republicans had abandoned any real effort to work with you

    This is a fabrication. It was Obama who shut the Republicans out not the other way around.

    Hell even Woodward thinks so.

    Anyway I am a fan of democrats and republicans at each others throats and not getting anything done. So good job for him.

    1. Elections have consequences.

      1. Technically that's a Cheney line that Obama only adopted.

    2. I'm a huge fan of gridlock. Politicians working together always result in bad things.

      Bipartisan is 5th column code for BOHICA.

  24. Mr. Welch, after reading the article for myself all I can say is that you were far too kind to Mr. Brinkley.

    Unless, perhaps, the definition of "historian" is "an obsequious, genuflecting toady". I'm getting old and having trouble keeping up with the new meanings of words (for instance, how a 10% budget increase is now called a "draconian cut").


    As a librarian, I've solicited donations of old Rolling Stone issues and even had a subscription once. Not being a music person, I felt I'd use Rolling Stone, *the* music magazine to cover the musical interests of my customers.

    Now, let's ignore that print is dead etc etc... I don't want to be poisoning young minds with this liberal claptrap as the read about music, so what's a good general music magazine that I could use instead?

    And, yes, I'm aware that the best solution would be to ask my customers what they want, but this is Guyana, S.A., so they aren't up to date on the magazine scene. (They are up to date on the music scene, however, but that's from TV)

    1. You're assuming two things that are demonstrably false: Young people (18-30) don't read Rolling Stone, especially for music news.
      Rolling Stone's "news" on music is so fucking irrelevant (and laughable) by the time it hits the shelves as to be tragic.
      My advice is to steer your students to websites, blogs and yes, even YouTube pages that comment on and share modern music. Get them to think for themselves.
      The days of Rolling Stone having anything relevant to say about music, culture or politics is dead as Dillinger's dick.

  26. Newspapers and magazines (I am a former newspaper reporter) are fucking desperate as hell -- terrified, actually -- of losing revenue due to the rise of a new generation that doesn't give a tin fuck about what they have to say about anything -- political, aesthetic or otherwise. They know they are in a battle in which their livelihood is gone and whose employees will have to drive a fucking school bus to make rent payments. They're the writing and walking dead. And hence you get cunty little cunt-squirts like the Rolling Stone "article" in their desperation to find relevance. They are irrelevant. THEY DON'T MATTER. And it hurts their flagging, middle-aged asses to find themselves so worthless and diminutive as "voices" of anything. Technology, globalism and social media are steamrolling these fucking faggots into oblivion. And it warms my heart to see it.

    1. Superman quit the daily planet and started a blog.

      Comic books say what journalists are afraid of saying.

    2. Internet sources aren't the best for my location, especially not video. I'm stuck with print.

      So what's a good print mag alternative to Rolling Stone? Is there such a thing?

      And you recommend guiding the customers to blogs. Got any recommendations?

      Also, please no more using 'faggot' as your invective of choice.

      1. I use "faggot" in the duplicitous South Park sense -- though they carried "fag" for all its worth.
        Spin magazine is your own viable option to Rolling Kidney Stone if you want a modern rock mag for your library. But it's as left as RS, from what I remember.
        I simply don't read that archaic shit any more.

      2. Because your students are up to date on modern music, maybe try to get free paperbacks sent to you that detail the history of western music. Blues and jazz to grunge and hip-hop. Understanding the roots of the music you listen to can widen your listening horizon exponentially. Hell, I got some books I could send.

        As for magazines, no I cannot think of any that will provide insights into modern music minus the sycophantic slant. I used to read Spin (alternative) and No Depression (alt-country) magazines but haven't for a long time.

        As for jamie's language: he gets off on it bugging you, so pay him no mind.

        1. Good point about the music history.

          For more info about the library look up Imam Bacchus Library on facebook.

          If you're serious about sending the books, there's a friends apartment in FL that I use for receiving books. Email me for details: jumbie40@hotmail.com

      3. Also, please no more using 'faggot' as your invective of choice.

        Piss off.

  27. Obama rebuts claims he's lying about attack on US Consulate in Libya

    (More like denies, not rebuts)

    Asked whether the administration's shifting explanation for the September 11 strike reflected the intelligence he was receiving, Obama replied: "What's true is that the intelligence was coming in and evolving as more information came up.

    "And what is true," he continued, "...This is something that the American people can take to the bank?is that my administration plays this stuff straight. We don't play politics when it comes to American national security," the president said. "As information came in we gave it to the American people. And as we got new information, we gave that to the American people."

    It might be close, but the Fed hasn't quite devalued the dollar enough to equal the value of Obama's claims of "what is true". So I wouldn't bother taking it to the bank. Oh, and passive voice FTL:

    Obama was not asked about, and did not bring up, a report by Fox News Channel that American officials repeatedly asked for military help during the assault but were rebuffed by CIA higher-ups.

    1. As information came in we gave it to the American people.

      Except for that evidence you had that it was a terrorist attack for 2 weeks before you gave it to the people.

    2. This is something that the American people can take to the bank?is that my administration plays this stuff straight.

      That's why there was no indication of "evolving intelligence" prior to when it was impossible for Obama to deny the truth of the situation.

  28. Well, we're big rock singers
    We got golden fingers
    and we're loved everywhere we go...

    1. You were born in the 60's
      We made a war with the Vietnamese
      We loved LSD, we died easily
      Can we just say c'est la vie?

  29. Joe must still have his master's cock firmly planted in his mouth. Otherwise, he'd be here to brag about winning this scoop in this high institution of journalism.

  30. In case you were missing Dave Weigel:

    Republicans spent a month arguing that Barack Obama had lied about the circumstances at the Benghazi consulate on September 11. That was a heavy carry, because it wasn't really true -- Obama had referred multiple times to "acts of terror."

    1. I don't get the Benghazi outrage being peddled by the republicans. Is it because it's an election year and every stoopid little thing is something we should be "concerned and outraged" about, demanding apologies and shit?

      When considering the acute malfeasance that has been perpetrated by this administration the Benghazi thing seems small potatoes. Akin to bitching about Ted Bundy's unpaid parking tickets.

      1. How could they not? It's the gift that keeps on giving. Not only did it give the GOP a way to counter Obama's message of "Al Queda is on the run", but it also gave the GOP a great opportunity to watch Team O fumble all over themselves as they tried to get their stories straight.

        The whole thing makes Obama look extremely incompetent, well more incompetent.

        1. So rank partisan opportunism exploiting 4 Americans' deaths? Glad we cleared that up.

          1. It's better to exploit deaths than to cause them.

      2. People died, Obama lied.

        1. Not only that, but Obama's lie itself was stupid and damaging.

      3. It's like the "binders of women" things the dems have been running with; it is a fumble they want to shine a spotlight on. Of course there were no body bags with the binders of women thing...so there's that.

        1. Binders of body bags?

      4. Unlike with F+F and Solyndra and all the other scandals, the Benghazi thing was on the news 24/7 and the administration kept running their mouth about it. The GOP would love to exploit both of those other things but nobody knows about them due to the media blackout.

  31. Brinkly is positioning himself to get more interviews with Obama, or perhaps a job working for government as a PR/communications hack. He knows that asking tough questions means he won't get any more. Obama, and most politicians, deny access to journalists who don't suck up to them. And Obama won't expose himself to hard questions. This is one way government controls the media.

    Another way is government's advertising spending. Any newspaperman will tell you, they don't bite the hand that feeds them, less they lose the revenue.

    Obama apparently has no confidence in his positions, as he cannot allow that to be exposed by tough questioning for which he has no good answers. E.G., "You've indicated that government spending stimulates the economy, so why are you cutting military spending?" That would be using dishonest DC budget talks where cuts are really reductions in planned increases, but it's the lingo used in DC.

    Here's another one. "You promoted the idea that a video caused the attack in Benghazi. Where did you get this idea, and how come you weren't informed about all the other information the government had about the attack being a planned terrorist attack? Some would say this is gross incompetence, or lying on your part. Your response?"

    Welch is right - they aren't journalists, I'll add that they are mouthpieces for Obama.

  32. I the popstar historian on morning joe Friday and he had a serious man crush on obama. No objectivity at all. I couldn't believe that no one called him out on it.

  33. Bill O'Reilly is always bitching about how Brian Williams or some other toady won't ask Obama the tough questions. Doesn't Fox News have reporters on the trail that can ask tough questions? If Obama blows them off over and over that would make some good video. Don;t the candidates talk to local reporters at campaign stops? There have to be some idealistic young reporters who still take their journalism credentials seriously.

    1. That's cute: You think voters choose a candidate based on their response to questions.

    2. You're not getting to ask BO a question on camera unless you're from a proven-friendly media outlet like Rolling Stone, or you go through a background check that would make getting a Top Secret security clearance look like a cakewalk.

      They don't allow outside video cameras or recording devices into Obama rallies (I know that from a flier I got for a rally here in Pgh).

    3. The only pointed legitimate question asked of Obama during the 2008 campaign resulted in the MSM going apoplectic with rage and starting an investigation into the background of the sorry SOB who had the temerity to ask the question.

      No journalist will ever put Zero on the spot. That hack O'Reilly, for all his spin about the "Spin stops here" powderpuffed Obama when he had the chance to interview him.

      "Idealistic young reporters" = Obama fanbots. Have you ever met a journalism major? Stupid, ignorant hack intellectually incapable of studying anything in the Humanities of actual merit is what almost immediately comes to mind.....

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