"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is That the Best the Press Can Do?

I tuned in to watch President Obama's second prime time press conference curious to see how he plans to push his budget proposal through a reluctant Congress, respond to the ongoing AIG bonus scandal and the upcoming G20 Summit. Instead, I was numbed by the performance of the representatives of the Fourth Estate. Honestly, the man gets better questions at town hall meetings populated by average Americans.

If this is the best group of reporters we can assemble for a White House press conference, it's obvious why Americans are as ill-informed as we are. How do I get my press pass? I'm confident I can ask a more productive question than the one Anne Compton asked.

Did anyone else get the feeling the President was getting a little annoyed with the inane questions? Shouldn't he expect college-level inquiries? Instead, he's got junior high heathers pushing GOP talking points about embryonic stem cells and charitable tax deductions for the wealthy.

I admit putting the press in their place - "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak" -makes me feel good, but wow, he bruised some fragile egos in the room. Public smack downs of people who have cameras, mics and twenty four hours of television airtime to fill may not be a smart strategy.

One thing I wish the President would say is, "Yeah, the Republicans seem to have a short term memory problem. But, you know what? So does the press." I understand why he can't, but just wish he could. Their role in helping Republicans push the Bush presidency into our collective memory hole is yet another example of journalistic malpractice right up there with their cheerleading our way into the invasion of Iraq.

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