President Obama, Mr. Obama, Barack Obama, Obama or the president?

By: Stephanie Shoop
By: Stephanie Shoop

Some of you are really upset about how the media addresses the president. But should you be?

What’s in a name? A lot, according to commenters on and viewers of WITN-TV.

In recent weeks, we’ve had several complaints when we refer to President Barack Obama as Mr. Obama.

We’ve heard from viewers and web users who call the practice “very disrespectful.”

Journalistically, on second reference in a story, it is an approved practice. It is indeed common practice to use a variety of titles… President Obama, Mr. Obama, Obama and the president… to refer to America’s top elected leader.

In fact, some people believe using just the last name without the “Mr.” is extremely disrespectful. Some even use the  phrase “Mr. President.”

"Mr.” is defined as a “title of respect prefixed to a man’s name or position,”  according to a citing of Random House Dictionary.

Referring to a America’s leader with Mr. and a last name is nothing new. It is the same exact practice we applied to President Barack Obama’s predecessor,  George W. Bush.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Eddy Location: Santa Clara, Ca on Feb 27, 2012 at 09:00 PM
    When I was in high school in the late 50's we were told that referring to the president of the United States by his last name is acceptable.
  • by Sharon West Location: Oklahoma City, OK on Feb 25, 2012 at 07:18 AM
    I have also been offended by the use of Mr. Obama rather than President Obama. I have never heard it used this prevalently. I would prefer to hear "President Obama" rather than "Mr. Obama."
  • by DC on Feb 25, 2012 at 06:00 AM
    Can someone tell me when in the history of any of the presidents has anyone referred to the President as "Mister"? I have heard the phrase "Mr. President" which would show respect for the person and the position held. I have not heard Bush, Clinton, or any of the other Presidents referenced in this manner. So why are we referring to President Obama as Mr.Obama? He is not simply our next door neighbor, he is our commander and chief. Maybe it is the media's way of denying the President of his rightful title.
  • by Neil Location: SLC on Jan 11, 2012 at 01:17 PM
    Can we just say, Supreme Commander Lord of All Obama? That's what all we NON racists want the Supreme Commander Lord of All Obama to actually be, so lets cut the crap and prove we are not racist and demand the respect our Most Merciful Supreme Commander Lord of All Obama deserves. I love my Supreme Commander Lord of All and therefore you cannot find a mean, greedy, or racist bone in my body. Get over yourselves and your "respect". Mr. Obama is a man in an office. Mr. Obama should be treated like a man in an office. Has nothing to do with his policies or skin color (since most the people on this comment board only see him as a black man). Because if we were to discuss his policies, the proper title would be "boy" since he has a kindergartener's understanding of real economics.
  • by h2ofall2 Location: SB, Ca on Sep 26, 2011 at 06:27 PM
    Same here in California, complained to news station, and I was blown off, said it was no big deal
  • by simply Rah Location: Richmond VA on Sep 15, 2011 at 09:58 AM
    I just fussed at one of our local newscasters for referring to our President as Mr. Obama as opposed to Mr. President or President Obama....and he told me that his time slot was short and it took too long to say President Obama everytime! WTF! Outraged....In my lifetime I've never heard of Mr. Reagan...Mr. Bush or Mr. why Mr. Obama? Come on folks, we gotta do better!
  • by Michelle Location: Tampa, FL on Jul 27, 2011 at 08:06 AM
    I am so outraged to hear our Senators, Representatives and Media refer to our President at Mister. It appears only a matter of time before they slip and refer to him as "N*****" or "Boy". What a shameful time for America. We should be better than that, but it appears we are moving backwards as a country instead of forward. The color of a man's skin still outways their official title and/or ability, OMG. I pray that our children will be able to make a difference and stop this madness! Senators, Representatives and media representatives; please do your job and stop the Bull...
  • by nancy Location: Berkeley, ca on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM
    I disagree that President Obama should be called Mr. Obama by the media. Mr. President is fine because it acknowledges his position. I can't recall previous presidents being addressed as "Mr." followed by their surname. I feel it's disrespectful of the office of President.
  • by LNich Location: TX on Jun 24, 2011 at 10:42 AM
    I did not vote for our current president, and I disagree vehemently with most of his views. I do not like him as a leader. He is weak and socialist. That being said, I have also noticed for quite some time that he is not "President Obama." I've noticed this mostly with newscasters and other journalists, and I wondered why. I'm actually surprised considering how liberal and protective of him the media has been in the past. Whether or not we like him, he is the current President. Whether or not he deserves our respect, the office of the President does, and he holds that office. He is President Obama.
  • by Jessica Location: Wisconsin on Jun 22, 2011 at 08:19 PM
    I was wondering this tonight, as I started hearing "Mr. Obama" and reading it more and more. I find it very disrespectful and agree with previous posters that I have NEVER Heard a previous president referred to as Mister. Even after they leave the office by choice or not. PRESIDENT OBAMA! It's just 1 more syllable than Mister and a heck of a lot more respectful to a man WE Americans put into office!

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