How should President Obama be referred to by the media? I hear them refer to him as Mr. Obama and this just doesn’t sound very respectful of him or the office (in my opinion). Mahalo for your time.
— Ms. Brazile in Honolulu
In the media the journalists are referring to The President in the third person in a story … so they will refer to him in various ways so who they are talking about is clear to the listener. You’ll hear:
These are not forms of address … for which there are rules. In direct address a president is addressed as
His given name or surname is not used in his presence.
Listen to a White House news conference, and all the reporters address him as Mr. President.
White House staff refer to him as The President … which makes sense since he is the onlyPresident to them! But on the evening news they may refer to several presidents … the president of the United States … the president of British Petroleum … the president of a national association.
Sometimes you hear someone directly address the President of the United States as President Obama … but that person is incorrect …. doesn’t know the tradition … and has probably just been listening to the evening news and thinks that is correct.
Whenever I hear that I write a note to the reporter. Not sure it does any good, but I feel better.
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info