McLean, VA (written by David Jackson/USA Today) -- Conservatives have a new mantra: President Obama would rather meet with David Letterman than Benjamin Netanyahu.
Or, he'd rather meet with Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Obama tapes a Letterman gig later today in New York City, and then attends a fundraiser hosted by music stars Jay-Z and Beyonce.
This will be Obama's seventh appearance with Letterman, his second since becoming president.
Conservative critics contrast today's schedule with the fact that, as of now, the president does not have a face-to-face meeting with Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister is in New York next week for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.
"President Obama needs to get his priorities straight, said Rep.Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. "What he needs to do is cancel his planned interview with David Letterman, cancel his meeting with Beyonce, cancel his meeting with Jay Z, and instead agree to meet with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, because, you see, America and Israel have a commonality of interests."
White House officials noted that Obama and Netanyahu spoke by phone just last week, and are in regular consultation.
As Kenneth Walsh of U.S.News and World Report notes, Obama's strategists see the issue quite differently:
"They say Obama and Netanyahu talk whenever they need to. And, looking at their overall communications plan, the strategists say a president needs to use various approaches to communicate with Americans because people get their information about politics and government in so many ways.
That means going beyond the traditional news conferences and speeches. In addition to Letterman, Obama has already appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The View, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and various comedy-oriented shows on morning radio."