WH Correspondents: Lame and Vain, Maybe. Stupid? Let's See.

White House correspondents may be navel-gazing, flu-averse and publicity-hungry but are they really bone-crunchingly stupid? Dan Froomkin wonders if it's ever occurred to these reports to ask "simple and direct" questions. (Suddenly, Mike Allen is looking even more adorable for his smarter piece on the same topic; and well, whaddya know? It doesn't actually kill us to agree with the Note.) Okay, sure. We're thinking, "Mr. President, spell your name please." or "Mr. President, who is Mr. President?" Hey, it's so simple and direct it just might work. Too bad said correspondents are busy thinking up questions about the square root of pi and post-Chomksy theories of language acquisition. Wonkette operatives with seats to this particular show wonder how they got so far without Froomkin's guidance:

Froomkin writesWonkette operative sputters
"White House reporters should become more assertive in demanding that the president make himself available. They should raise the issue every day in the daily briefing with McClellan, instead of only once every few weeks. In fact, they should also bring it up every time they get in earshot of the president. ("Mr. President, why won't you meet with us once a month?")"Oh yes, now that's a brilliant plan. We can see it now: "Okay, who is getting the 'why don't you answer our questions' question today? Knoller, you want that one?"
"But there is nothing inappropriate about the press demanding accountability from the president of the United States."Oh, could you change my diaper, too?
"The president is not averse to questions, per se. It's a matter of who's asking. During the campaign, Bush took questions almost daily -- from carefully screened and adoring supporters."Thanks for clearing up the idea that the president will run away at the sight of a question mark. You're gonna spend your next graf talking about how he got scripted questions? Stop the fucking presses.

"It seems unlikely that Bush, in his second term, will adopt John Kerry's pledge to hold one press conference a month if elected."If the presses weren't stopped you better get them fucking stopped.
"Instead, try harder to ask one question that will actually get an answer. The question should be simple and direct enough so that everyone, including the president, understands precisely what is being asked -- and so that if the president doesn't answer it, it's clear to everyone that he has chosen to avoid it. " Never fucking occurred to us. Whew. Thank goodness for this piece. So you're saying we should ask questions we hope will get answers? My brow is wet with the sweat of new revelation.
And reporters shouldn't be afraid to look a little disrespectful if that's what it takes to get an answer. Good idea. Let's practice our disrespect. How many years did you cover the White House, Dan?

Mr. President, will you answer the question? [Neiman Watchdog]


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