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Obama hits Oz

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Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

US president Barack Obama has just landed in Australia and with him comes a platoon of security, minders, cooks, a chef and a disappointing anti-climax. One TV station began a news broadcast live from Parliament House in Canberra before the president even landed. One online newspaper is offering live coverage. All of this before 3pm.

This morning the breakfast shows were a buzz with info about Air Force One and the limo the prez rides around in. I never thought Australia could become more entrenched in US culture, but today proved me wrong.

The sensationalism in the media of this event is palpable. What's for dinner with the president was one news item. How many cars are in the entourage was another. News networks are clambering for attention and the carrot they are dangling is the most inane coverage possible.

This prez visit has some political merit and Australian Prime Minister Gillard will be in power talks with the man, no doubt, the only doubt about the talks is how much power she can actually wield. There are plans for some US soldiers to use a military base in Darwin. There will be talks about Afghanistan. Blah, blah, blahdi, blah.

I don't know about you, but I'm sure there are people out there who want this 'event' to be a touch spicier, a bit livelier. It's only human to want some action, like a car crash at a race meet. Or a punch on in the street out the front of a bar at 2am. Or that old lady in the supermarket car park carrying her groceries to trip over. Some people are more secret than others in this desire to witness happenings go awry. It breaks the monotony of the day to day.

So, here's hoping there'll be something more of note during this trip the media can really sink their teeth into. Obama has a security team the size of some music festival audiences while there are/were Aussie protestors protesting some crap about sharing the world's wealth. Lets hope the two cross paths. Maybe there'll be another Chaser stunt like their 2007 APEC security breach, but I doubt it.

If we're all going to have to sit and digest the rot the media has forced down our throats about this visit then surely we'll all deserve something of substance. A bomb hoax? A suspicious car tailing Obama's entourage? Gillard locking lips with Obama? An old racist lady yelling racial abuse at Obama? Fingers crossed.

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