When Neil Munro shouted out a question to Obama yesterday as Obama was reading a statement in the Rose Garden about his unilateral thumbing of Congress and the American people in the eye, a firestorm of condemnation erupted among media-types on both the left and right.
Forget for the moment that this is not exactly new, and the press treated Ronald Reagan with much more disrespect (h/t a reader). That’s history, and the last thing we need right now in this country is a sense of historical perspective.
I agree that the President should be allowed to finish reading statements without being interrupted, even when thumbing us in the eye. After all, it’s not like he works for us.
We must respect the Office of the Thumber in the Eye in Chief.
What I don’t understand is why reporters show up at statement readings where they can’t ask questions.
Exactly why were the reporters there?
Certainly not to take video — television gave us a better recording.
And certainly not to ask questions. That’s why the President stands there, reads a statement, and walks away. It’s not a press conference.
And certainly not to report. What exactly would these reporters be reporting?
That the President read a statement, the text of which was released by the White House Press Office? Duh, even bloggers munching Cheetos in the basement could figure that out.
At least at the State of the Union address part of the story is the crowd reaction. Here, the point of the criticism of Munro is that there should have been no crowd reaction.
It ain’t rocket science to report the following:
President Obama, in a statement he read out loud today in the Rose Garden, stated that he was ….
That’s not reporting, it’s transcribing. No, actually, it’s not even transcribing.
I don’t know what it is, but I do know you don’t need a Masters Degree in Journalism, or two years of an unpaid internship, whichever comes first, to do it.
Did the Washington press corps ever hear the phrase, “I’m not a potted plant”?
Neil Munro apparently did. Which means he has no business being a reporter in the age of Obama.
Update: Almost forgot this post, “I’m not a potted plant. I’m here as the blogger. That’s my job.”