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The Washington Post played ‘gotcha’ with Scott Walker (and lost)

The Washington Post played ‘gotcha’ with Scott Walker (and lost)

It’s all fun and games until someone gets smacked down

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

The Washington Post’s Robert Costa and Dan Balz interviewed Scott Walker yesterday. Of everything they had opportunity to ask, they chose to ask Walker whether he thought Obama was a Christian.

How Walker’s opinion on the matter is remotely relevant or newsworthy is unclear to normal people, who expect the press to do that whole “truth to power” thing.

Walker, seemingly unamused by the obscure religion question, responded appropriately, saying he “didn’t know.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott K. Walker, a prospective Republican presidential contender, said Saturday he does not know whether President Obama is a Christian.

“I don’t know,” Walker said in an interview at the JW Marriott hotel in Washington, where he was attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

Told that Obama has frequently spoken publicly about his Christian faith, Walker maintained that he was not aware of the president’s religion.

“I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that,” Walker said, his voice calm and firm. “I’ve never asked him that,” he added. “You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?”

What followed was completely lost on the WaPo Inquisition:

Walker said such questions from reporters are reflective of a broader problem in the nation’s political-media culture, which he described as fixated on issues that are not relevant to most Americans.

“To me, this is a classic example of why people hate Washington and, increasingly, they dislike the press,” he said. “The things they care about don’t even remotely come close to what you’re asking about.”

Walker said he did not believe that most Americans care about such matters.“People in the media will [judge], not everyday people,” he said. “I would defy you to come to Wisconsin. You could ask 100 people, and not one of them would say that this is a significant issue.”

Thusly shamed, the dynamic Costa/Balz duo shifted tactics to another left-wing favorite — guilt by association.

Last week, Rudy Giuliani committed the unforgivable sin of questioning President Obama’s patriotism. Given multiple opportunities to recant, Giuliani is sticking to his guns. The establishment media is relishing every last click with GiulianiGate — just look at how many articles they’ve written on the matter. How dare someone question the patriotism of a man who vowed to fundamentally transform what he claims he loves!

The estate once charged with speaking truth to power now vigilantly protects the one with the power. Guaranteed press protection of the executive only serves to justify perpetual overreach, further institutionalizing the unofficial state media we’ve come to know and loathe.

And so WaPo attempted to play guilt by association (emphasis mine):

Walker’s comments Saturday came after a week in which he was asked repeatedly whether he agreed or disagreed with former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani when he said at a private dinner last Wednesday that he was not sure whether Obama loves his country. Walker was a guest at the dinner.

Walker again declined Saturday to weigh in on Giuliani’s characterization of the president’s patriotism and background.

“I don’t know, I honestly don’t know, one way or the other,” Walker said.“I’ve said that 100 times, too.”

Walker refused to give them the answer they wanted. He did not laud Giuliani for bravely speaking truth, nor was he willing to demand Rudy’s head on a platter. It should’ve stopped there, right?

Some of Walker’s possible rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination have issued statements about Giuliani’s remarks.

Because Walker did not play by their rules, he was isolated (rhetorically isolated, anyway) from the pack of other Republican candidates who have issued official statements. It was a lame attempt to paint Walker as a less than adequate candidate, but an attempt nonetheless.

Vilifying those who question authority is a wildly successful headline generator and a fantastic way to create faux controversies that detract from actual controversies like, for example, Hillary Clinton’s foreign sugar daddy problem. Clinton, by the way, doesn’t believe the rumors that Obama is a Muslim, “as far as she knows.”

And so our national press falls yet another rung in their slow, sad, descent into irrelevance. There is a silver lining though: maddening as the interview was to read, it’s abundantly clear Scott Walker will not be presshandled.

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I was hoping this same press corps would PRESS feminists and leading politicians on the Veep Creep’s serial gropes on seemingly every lady within his reach — you know, like they would if he was Dan Quayle.

This is one time where GOP candidates need to collude on how to respond to questions such as these. They must be much more aggressive in refusing to play by media rules and tell them in no uncertain language to F-O. This is getting old where the GOP candidate is relentlessly hammered on BS such as this and the Dem candidate is asked about what advice they will give their granddaughter when they grow up. The candidates need to be prepared for this and have a ready response – it’s not like they don’t know it’s coming.

“…it’s abundantly clear Scott Walker will not be presshandled.”

Spot on. And bonus points for that term. It’s perfect!

“Stop presshandling me, bro!”

Have you noticed that Gov. Walker has something going for himself that you just can’t put our finger on. He needs to continue going to the ballgame. But he needs to continue to sit in the bleachers and buy his own ticket.

    Karen Sacandy in reply to PapaB. | February 22, 2015 at 8:45 am

    I think what he has going for him – other than spectacularly getting Wisconsin out of a financial hole despite being under recall – is that he doesn’t machinate. He is a genuinely straightforward, principled man, without artifice. He’s midwest humble, and very competent.

    But still unaware that illegal aliens comprise 25% of my county’s elementary school students, and that I don’t like kayaking down the Chattahoochee, and when I get to the boat landing, Americans and latins have segregated themselves at the boat dock, and it’s downright unpleasant. And I have friends who do construction work who’ve been reduced to food stamps because construction wages have fallen so low. Food stamps!

    jayjerome66 in reply to PapaB. | February 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Or to extend the metaphor: he needs to stay in the bullpen, and remain on the bench.

      You progs are scared of him, aren’t you? How low will you go, and how many lies will you scum make up to try to destroy him?

      I believe JJ stands for Junior Jackass.

      Walker / Cruz truly frightens the left wing commies. The next election may result in the roll back of the theft of the American worker that is under way. And Walker or Cruz represent that threat at its greatest, so the Junior Jackass wing of the thieves go on every board to denounce them.

“I don’t know,” Walker said in an interview at the JW Marriott hotel in Washington…

That answer is what they were looking for. Goes right along with their “not even a college graduate” BS. “Look how stupid this guy is! Can’t even answer a simple question.”

If this was a win, which is debatable, it was scrapped when the Walker spokesperson followed up by contradicting what he said.

Is that the same Robert Costa that wrote for the National Review? (rhetorical) It must have been hard to keep that mask on. POSER

Who are these people? “Some of Walker’s possible rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination have issued statements about Giuliani’s remarks.”

Is it possible for me to denounce those denouncing Giuliani’s comments without actually endorsing those comments? I’m tired of “Republicans” who jump to make the press happy with liberal positions.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | February 22, 2015 at 9:55 am

After Obama’s idiotic Crusades comments and his refusal to call the threat the world is facing “radical Islam”, his strategists, consultants and other fluffers know that Rudy questioning Obama’s “love” for America might resonate. That’s why we are seeing the furious pushback in the media. The media turned itself into Democrat activists, or “presstitutes”, to get Obama elected. We’re now in the legacy building phase of his presidency. They certainly don’t want the first bi-racial president they compromised their integrity for to go down in history as someone who doesn’t love his country. So they’ve got to stop this narrative from ever taking root – even though it may be somewhat accurate. They’re signaling to others that anybody who agrees with Rudy will get the same treatment. I admire Rudy for refusing to apologize or retract his statement, not matter how much of a hissy fit the media has.

As for this post and Walker, Althouse had a good blog post yesterday about how Walker stays laser focused on HIS message and never allows himself to be distracted by the media or his opponent’s nonsense. It’s a good read if anybody hasn’t read it.

… a man who vowed to fundamentally transform what he claims he loves!

This is the one phrase the directly questions Obama’s patriotism.

If you think something needs to be “fundamentally” transformed, then you think that something is mostly wrong or bad.

America is not perfect; it needs improving.
We all know that.
But America don’t need no stinkin’ “fundamental transformation.”

The commie lackeys in the state controlled media thought it was alright to bash George W Bush for so-called patriotism, but when someone questions “Fearless Leader,” (I use that phrase loosely here) they go postal against the people that do believe in the United States as founded. I believe that when the state controlled media gets their utopia, they are going to be the first victims of the carnage that will be unleashed.

Walker did show one thing: how easy it is “de-power” the liberal press.

He should have taken it to the next level, and busted them on their bias and fraud. Maybe he will next time.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to | February 22, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Yep, it’s past high time the ‘pubs evolve a spine and tell the press to GFI.

    The enemy is the Democratic/Progressive agenda. The Press are mere Progressive footsoldiers; a relatively small target. If the Press can successfully deflect Walker’s ire onto themselves, they’ll have done their jobs, and the Progressives have a net win.

    Walker seems to realize that he has much bigger fish to fry.

    Phillep Harding in reply to | February 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Yup. Amazing how just standing up to them turns the news media into a shadow tiger.

I’m still waiting for someone to come up with the right one-liner to point out that President Obama will not be on the ballot next November.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to clintack. | February 22, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Presstitute: Do you think President Obama loves America?

    ‘Pub candidate: I can’t fundamentally transform a man, and there’s no need to since he’s a lame duck anyway.

What will be real interesting is when the establishment realized that Walker is an actual threat to whomever they decide that their pet candidate is and moves against him, I am thinking it might be rather painful for them.

MSM is finally being told unapologetically to SUCK IT.

I haven’t seen anything I dislike about Walker yet. Just wait until he starts gaining momentum.

The conference rooms of the DNC World Press Offices are packed with editors and J-school grads today, trying to come up with the perfect wedge issue questions they can use to strip Walker of support. My advice to any candidate is: know the real issues and have well-thought-out and well-developed positions on those issues, and any time someone tries to trot out a wedge issue, steer them back to what matters with a firm and professional demeanor. “That’s an interesting question in the vein of ‘boxers or briefs’, but not nearly as interesting or relevant as whether we should capitulate to Iran’s attainment of nuclear weapon capability, as the current administration appears to be doing.”