I don't think this means that MTV and youth in general are not in Obama's corner. But it does indicate that there is less enthusiasm for the president, and perhaps even a tinge of youthful cynicism directed his way:
President Obama's re-election campaign wants to connect with young Americans and reached out recently to MTV for help -- but the cable network turned them down, sources tell The Post.
The president's Get Out the Vote campaign, run by Buffy Wicks, concerned the high unemployment rate of the so-called millennial generation would turn them off to their candidate, asked the network of "Jersey Shore" about helping to supply them with ideas on how to deal with their, er, situation.
The campaign called MTV's internal ad agency, MTV Scratch, for assistance in mid-August, sources familiar with the conversations said.
MTV Scratch, run by Ross Martin, former MTVU boss, and Anne Hubert, who was a policy adviser to Jon Corzine when he was a US senator from New Jersey, works across all the MTV Networks and helps marketers such as General Motors and Dr. Pepper understand the mind-set of young people.
The re-election effort wants to reconnect with youth, which were among its most fervent supporters in 2008.
"The youth initiative is having trouble with big donors and youth votes," said a person familiar with the discussions. "They asked, 'Can you tell us how we should be talking to them?' " one source noted.
Viacom's unit took a few weeks before getting back to the campaign to decline its invitation, saying that it doesn't do political work.
There are few things sadder than the disillusionment of youth. But it is an inevitable part of growing up - realizing that hopes and dreams invested in politicians almost always come a cropper of human nature.
To MTV, it is good business right now not to engage the Obama administration at any level. No doubt that will change when the campaign gets into full swing. But the gigantic tide of young people who swarmed to the polls in 2008 and helped elect a president has almost certainly receded and we are likely to see a more normal youth turnout in 2012 - 30% rather than the 53% in 2008 of 18-29 year olds - which will make Obama's re-election that much more of an uphill climb.