President Obama takes a risk when he does these interviews with local anchors, as he did today from the White House. Often the local guys are intimidated to be in the Oval Office, but sometimes, it’s just the reverse, and they won’t observe the conventions and deference that Washington journalists do.
This local news anchor from KMOV in St. Louis got in Obama’s face about all of the first family’s fancy, taxpayer funded excursions. This is exactly the kind of thing that that a local reporter with some cojones would ask because he is in touch with real people who are offended, while Washington reporters tucked inside the Beltway would find the question beneath them.
Have a look:
Especially nice after Jay Carney condescended to the White House press corps, essentially describing them as spent pieces of used jet trash, in the words of the great Tom Waits. Here’s the exchange from today between Carney and Mark Knoller of CBS.
Q Jay, what’s left for President Obama to say about the Buffett Rule in his four interviews this afternoon? (Laughter.)
MR. CARNEY: I’m glad you asked, because gone are the days when all you had to do was talk to CBS News or ABC, or The New York Times, or CNN, or The Wall Street Journal — (groans)
Q Or Reuters.
MR. CARNEY: — or Reuters. (Laughter.)
Q Keep going. (Laughter.)
MR. CARNEY: I won’t tell your bosses that you volunteered.
MR. CARNEY: Or Time Magazine, or — and could be sure that most of the adult population in the country would hear what you had to say. You know this, Mark, I think better than most here because you’ve seen — you’ve witnessed from this perch here covering the White House the evolution in the media. And the absolute fact that people across the country get their news in a variety of different ways — they don’t all sit down and listen to the radio as they did before television. They don’t all watch the same television shows. There’s just too many outlets — too many outlets, too many alternatives.
Carney, also a former elite Washington reporter with Time, got a little more from the local guy than he bargained for.