Press Corps Furious At Obama For Not Offering Bland Comment On Special Election While Meeting Mexican President


It's that movie, about reportersOur sterling Washington press corps' second-favorite thing to write about, trailing only "their own upcoming books," is that Obama will not talk to them all the time and entertain every one of their useless spin-ready leading questions. The New York Times' Peter Baker is our latest example, having written a SNIPPY article today defending his colleague Chip Reid of CBS, who wanted to ask Obama about some midterm political gossip during his White House photo-op with the Mexican president, and was DENIED, tragically, for all.

Watch this one unfold:

Obama Turns His Back On the Press


At a ceremony to sign a bill promoting press freedom around the world on Monday, President Obama refused to take questions from reporters. “I’m not doing a press conference today,” he told Chip Reid of CBS News, “but we’ll be seeing you guys during the course of the week.”

So when the president hosted a “news conference” in the Rose Garden with the president of Mexico on Wednesday, Mr. Reid thought maybe this time Mr. Obama would take questions. Instead, Mr. Obama allowed only a single question from the American news media, calling on a reporter from Univision, making it unlikely that he would be asked about Tuesday’s anti-incumbent election results.

Sure enough, Mr. Obama was asked about the Arizona law aimed at stopping illegal immigrants, a law he had already denounced in his opening remarks and was happy to denounce again in response to the question. He did not have to offer his thoughts on the loss of an ally, Senator Arlen Specter, in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, or on any other topic.

As the event ended and Mr. Obama swiveled to head back into the Oval Office, Mr. Reid tried again and shouted out a question about the elections.

Mr. Obama ignored him. Maybe he meant later in course of the week.

This is really amazing, and it's surprising that Peter Baker never realized along the way that he should scrap the whole thing, because of how obviously self-defeating it is. Because what is it, again, that Obama so very rudely ignored during his appearance with the Mexican president that was never listed as a full press availability? A Very Serious question from Chip Reid about what Obama thinks of the midterm primary election yesterday.

Supposing Obama did interrupt his scheduled events with a visiting head of state to entertain this useless question about American horserace politics, he probably would've said something like, "Arlen has been a great ally and we will miss him, but congratulations to Congressman Joe Sestak, who ran a fine campaign and will have our enthusiastic support through November." Then Chip Reid and other reporters listening in would all go to their computers and file the same quick story, "Stunned Obama Reeling After Specter Loss; Offers Tepid Support To Sestak," as their coverage of the President's meeting with our neighboring country's head of state.

Why do White House correspondents ever think that they should use their valuable time to ask the President about horserace politics, a derivative of the actual issues that the President takes sides on?

[The Caucus]


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