Saturday 22 July 2017

Pint picture in the frame as Irish stopover hits headlines

Vincent Murphy in New York

THE president and his pint: this was the image of Barack Obama's brief Irish stopover that captured the imagination of most American media outlets.

The image was used to illustrate articles on most US news websites, and broadcast on all the news networks, who reported on Obama reconnecting with his Celtic roots.

"When at a pub in Ireland, it would surely be deemed sacrilegious to deny yourself a pint of Guinness, especially if you're the president of the United States reconnecting with your distant Irish relatives," wrote Kelly Chernekoff, on the Fox News White House blog.

"So when visiting his great, great, great grandfather's hometown of Moneygall, the president was determined to not only drink a pint, but do it justice."

The visit has attracted considerable media attention, with the primary focus on Moneygall.

Mark Landler of the 'New York Times' wrote that: "President Obama may not be related to everybody in this postage-stamp Irish hamlet of 300 that claims him as its native son. But on Monday, Mr Obama appeared determined to hug, kiss or shake hands with every last one of them."

Jubilant

The paper described the visit as "jubilant" and the crowds who greeted him as "quite possibly the most loquacious rope line he has ever worked".

On TV, all the main networks previewed the visit with stories about Moneygall, including a report on NBC's top-rated morning show 'Today'.

Both MSNBC and CNN carried Mr Obama's speech at College Green in Dublin live in full.

CNN went to the scene early enough to hear Enda Kenny's impassioned plea to Irish Americans to follow their president home to Ireland.

Some outlets took a more sober take on events.

The 'LA Times', conscious of the ongoing controversy over Mr Obama's speech on Israel last week, carried his words of tribute to the Northern peace process as a model for other conflicts.

Bloomberg concentrated on Mr Obama's pledge of support for Ireland's efforts at economic recovery after the bailout.

The main news story of the day in the US was a massive tornado which killed at least 89 people in the city of Joplin, Missouri.

Most outlets carried reports from officials that Mr Obama was receiving regular updates on the damage as he made his way around Ireland.

Irish Independent Supplement

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