Maureen Dowd's Sunday column for the New York Times, datelined "The Final Frontier," beat to death the already tiresome conceit of comparing Barack Obama to the coolly rational Spock from Star Trek. In Dowd's version, Obama is going to beam down and save newspapers or something. The column is titled "Put Aside Logic," and it does.

The text box is even lamer: "Can we Kling On to our newspapers in the galactic age?" Some headline writer must have thought the play on words was clever enough to be worth the corniness. It wasn't.

Dowd did provide a few decent Obama tidbits amidst the silly premise: Not only is the Times the president's favorite paper (he gets "cranky" without it), he sold subscriptions briefly while attending Columbia University.

I dreamed that Spock saved our planet, The Daily Planet of journalism.



Concluding a Thursday NBC Nightly News story on summer movies, correspondent George Lewis previewed the new Star Trek film, set to open on Friday, and found it relevant to highlight how “some Trekkies have compared the Spock character, the product of a mixed marriage between a human and a Vulcan, to President Obama.” Those “some Trekkies” would be Newsweek's Steve Daly, author of last week's cover story, “We’re All Trekkies Now,” who proposed in a soundbite: “In a certain sense, Spock the character has dealt with some of the same prejudices and problems that our new President does.”

In the piece for the May 4 edition of the magazine, Daly asserted: “Spock's cool, analytical nature feels more fascinating and topical than ever now that we've put a sort of Vulcan in the White House.” And “like Obama, Spock is the product of a mixed marriage (actually, an interstellar mixed marriage), and he suffers blunt manifestations of prejudice as a result.” Daly also hailed how “with the willfully hegemonic Bush administration now gone, the tenets of [original Star Trek creator Gene] Roddenberry's fictional universe feel very much in step with current events,” since:
The Obama foreign policy, at least for now, emphasizes cross-cultural exchange and eschews imperialistic swagger. That sounds very much in sync with the Federation's Prime Directive, which stipulates that humanity should observe but never interfere with alien cultures (no Iraq-style invasions, in other words).