Sierra Marquina: First Lady Michelle Obama Talks Let’s Move!, Signing Up For The Affordable Care Act, And Valentine’s Day
Mrs. Obama’s initiative to help stop the problem of childhood obesity, Let’s Move!, was launched four years ago and has made a significant impact on children’s health today, not only in their homes, but in their schools as well. The goal with the initiative is to solve obesity within a generation and set up children to be able to lead healthier lives, a movement she starts by doing at home in the White House. When it comes to her two daughters, 15-year-old Malia and 12-year-old Sasha, the first lady shares: “Barack and I try to lead by example. I mean, we eat dinner together every night and we rarely miss that, even with his schedule, and we spend a lot of time talking about the issues of the day, but we talk about what we’re eating and why we’re eating it. We have a lot of, ‘Finish your vegetables’ conversations.”
The Affordable Care Act allows every single American to have access to quality affordable health care, which is so important because there are millions of people out there who are worried about losing their home or going bankrupt because someone gets sick … What Barack believes is that here in America … poor health should not be the thing that causes someone to lose their home. But before the Affordable Care Act … that’s actually what was happening to people around the country.” “Here’s the thing, young people lead risky lives. I always joke about this, but the young people are the ones out at the club at three o’clock in the morning and more likely to slip on the ice … I mean, life throws you some curveballs and young people in particular need to have insurance. If you think about it, you insure your car, but you’re not going to insure your life?”
So what does Mrs. Obama expect from her husband this Valentine’s Day? Not much! Mrs. Obama explains: “This year, again, I’ve had this big birthday celebration—my husband really celebrated me so well—He did a great job. I had a great couple of weeks, so I think we’re going to low-key it for Valentine’s Day.” Albeit, she’s not concerned he’ll be too low-key. ”We have been married for 21 years and he never forgets a Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, a birthday. He’s really good at that kind of stuff.”
after turning 50 on January 17, she insists everything gets better with age. “You’re more confident, you know yourself more, you’re not concerned about what other people think. And if you’ve taken care of your health, many times you can be in the best shape you’ve been in … you watch your kids grow up and I know, my girls, they’re starting to become real people with opinions and it’s just so much fun to talk to them now,” she shares. And speaking of her two girls, what’s it like to grow up in the White House as a 15 or 12-year-old? “Barack and I strive to make sure Malia and Sasha can lead as normal a life as possible and even though we are in this crazy bubble, they do things that normal kids do,” Mrs. Obama admits. “They go to sleepovers, they go to concerts, they go to dances.”
The venerable BBC, doyen of all that is good and great in the News Media, had this as its screaming headline on a Wednesday night.
Yes, ne’er-do-well and click-bait Justin Bieber was charged with assault in Canada. This “breaking news” (or “latest” in the more clipped tones of Broadcasting House) trumped the Ukrainian instability, the Syria talks, or the State of the Union.
I remember, as a young lad, using my brother’s short wave radio to tune in to the BBC World Service. (This was long before we could listen to it on our computers or smart phones.) It opened up a world which I knew existed beyond the environs of Washington Heights, and in which I wanted to swim.
To a great extent, the BBC still holds that place in my astronomy of news media. I go to great lengths to have access to BBC World, and much of its reporting is relevant and informative. But the fact that it felt it needed to highlight this non-entity’s travails on its website speaks to a great cancer in our media, one which doesn’t spare blue chip organizations like the BBC.
When the Bieber arrest in Miami dominated our US cable networks, I posted this piece. A fictional character on Twitter took CNN to task for its obsession with the Bieber story. Every minute which CNN devoted to Bieber was a minute not devoted to the Ukraine, or Turkey, or the plight of those without unemployment insurance in the US. All because a pop star was on a downward spiral of self-indulgence and ignorance, abetted by his credulous and scarily devoted fans, who trended hashtags on Twitter such as #WeWillAlwaysLoveYouJustinEvenIfYouMurderPuppiesOnTour. (No, of course, that wasn’t an actual hashtag. Just because no one had the balls to post it.)