This is what used to go on in the White House briefing room all the time. Even during the Clinton administration. Somehow, the climate was far less passive during the last Democratic administration. Bush – forget it, there was a unabashed lunge for the jugular every day.
The video below is from about ten days ago, when the wheels were just beginning to come off the White House “It Was The Video That Done It” Express.
Veteran CBS reporter Bill Plante wanted to know how it’s possible that the White House does not view the attack on the Benghazi consulate as a coordinated assault.
Notice how testy White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gets. He doesn’t get aggressively challenged very much – nor does his boss, of course. He’s initially condescending to Plante, interrupting him and then lecturing him about doing his “reading” about Libya. Then he gets ahold of himself and reels it back in.
Probably many of you have watched Bill Plante for years.
I can tell you he’s what you’d call in the bizness “a pro.” I’ve worked with Bill since the Clinton administration, and I have no idea what his politics are. He just has a very finely tuned BS detector and a low tolerance for the stuff. And when he decides to tear through the layers of White House obfuscation, he rarely fails uncover some truth for all to see.
He’s also a gentleman and a nice guy without a single air about him – very unusual for TV types. Something about being on the boob tube usually changes people.
Anyway, have a look. This is how journalism is supposed to be practiced.