Previous post:

Next post:

Unlike Conservative, MSM Reporter Applauded for WH Outburst

by Keith Koffler on November 15, 2012, 10:02 am

An outburst by a member of the mainstream media at the end of President Obama’s press conference Wednesday was applauded by his colleagues, in marked contrast to when a reporter for a conservative news outlet spoke out of turn during remarks by the president last June and then was widely condemned.

Bloomberg reporter Hans Nichols Wednesday breached long-established press conference decorum when he shouted a question to Obama after the president had clearly concluded the press conference. By custom, at a formal White House press conference, only those called on by the president are allowed to ask questions. Nichols’ outburst came just as Obama finished answering what he had decreed would be the final question of the proceedings.

Nichols is a respected member of the mainstream White House press corps and he asked a legitimate question – about the consequences of going over the “fiscal cliff” – but Obama refused to answer, remarking with a touch of irony, “it would be a horrible precedent for me to answer your question just because you yelled it out.”

Nichols colleagues have already applauded his effort. According to the blog FishbowlDC, which covers the Washington press corps, reporters for the New York Times were avidly supportive:

NYT’s Michael Shear seemed impressed:  “In the ongoing battle for more access to the president, Hans Nichols is my new hero. Way to go.” And NYT‘s Peter Baker added, “Hear Hear.”

But when Neil Munro, a reporter for the conservative Daily Caller, shouted out a question to Obama while the president was speaking in the Rose Garden June 15, his effort was widely and even acerbically panned by his colleagues.

Munro arguably had a better excuse than Nichols. He said he thought the president was finished speaking, at which point shouted questions are fair game. Nichols knew he was speaking out of turn. What’s more, Munro, who asked about the effect of Obama’s immigration policy on U.S. workers, actually did extract something of a response from the president.

But instead of garnering applause for trying to query a president who had been assiduously avoiding questions from those who cover him, Munro was condemned and branded a liar.

Few accepted his explanation, even though anyone who has actually succeeding in asking a president a question in the Rose Garden knows that the effort has to be perfectly timed – right after the president finishes but before he can start making his way back to the Oval Office.

The White House Correspondents Association even considered taking some kind of official action, including “censure,” but decided against it. Daily Caller Editor in Chief Tucker Carlson was compelled to write a letter to the WHCA in an effort to keep his publication from being thrown off the “press pool” that has access to events that are not open to all reporters.

Leave a Comment

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Star November 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

If these mainstream people thought this was good, then why didn’t they ask more cogent questions when it was “OK”? They need to ask questions that have numbers and facts as answers, not “do you think” questions. He will blab all around them anyway–but it’s a start.

Reply

Brenda A. November 15, 2012 at 11:47 am

The president likes ‘do you think’ or ‘how do you feel’ questions. That’s why he feels so comfortable on The View.

Reply

scottso November 15, 2012 at 10:17 am

Big question…Why are the questions asked by the press so poorly worded? Why do they ask 3 tiered questions which the President always uses to answer (maybe) 1 part (usually the easiest one).

You would think the press would be so excited to have a question answered they would come up with something less embarrassing than this one from yesterday:
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. In his endorsement of you a few weeks ago, Mayor Bloomberg said he was motivated by the belief that you would do more to confront the threat of climate change than your opponent. Tomorrow you’re going up to New York City, where you’re going to, I assume, see people who are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which many people say is further evidence of how a warming globe is changing our weather. What specifically do you plan to do in a second term to tackle the issue of climate change? And do you think the political will exists in Washington to pass legislation that could include some kind of a tax on carbon?

That is a long winded, poorly worded, with a excessive preamble. I’d be embarrassed to be that reporter.

Reply

Langley Spook (I keep my pants on) November 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I would have gotten a “D” in my Public Speaking class if I talked like that

Reply

CAR November 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

Hip. O. Crits.

Reply

srdem65 November 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

Taking the high road here, let’s assume that the sharks in the MSM who have been fed regularly by chum (Romney/Repubs) thrown out by the Obama campaign are now getting hungry. They smell blood in the water coming from Bengazi, and the “cliff” we’re all going over, sooner or later.
Realizing that the Obama love-fest will end in four years, hopefully before the end of their careers in journalism (or whatever it is), they’re looking to re-establish their questionable skills as hard-hitting reporters.

Their mistake of covering up the Obama/Biden/Dem gaffes, lies, and scurilous attacks to ensure the status quo in DC has resulted in no one to villify, no racist charges, no more war on women, nothing interesting or headline worthy. So, now what? the only choice left is to bite the hand that used to feed them.

Reply

Girly1 November 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

The only way the MSM sharks can redeem themselves is to unclench their jaws and release the 5 years worth of cover-ups that will pave the way for impeachment proceedings. Better late than never.

Reply

Susan November 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

Hope you’re right, srdem. After reading some of the questions from the fawning press yesterday, it seems they are still besotted with the cult of personality. I’m afraid the little demagogue is going to have to publicly flog them before they turn on him, and then it will be too late. The press has already lost the respect of half the nation…

Reply

Kimbly November 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I think they are starting to hedge as well. But too little too late. I can’t believe no “mainstream” journalist has taken on this president. Makes me think about how powerful the circle is around Obama.

Reply

Swedishlady November 15, 2012 at 11:23 am

Whoever shouts a relevant question to O is my hero. Hans Nichols, well done. Maybe even a few in the MSM starts to realize that they have been used and that it is time to repair medias miserable reputation. Well, it is probably wishful thinking. In my gloomy moments I believe that the White House will be able to totally bury the Benghazi story as well with a little help of their friends in the MSM.
The result of the election still depresses me. How could it happen ??? I am glad that you give us information about O`s pressconference, Keith, because I can not stand listening to him. I simply can not stand him. Period.

Reply

pat November 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I can’t listen to him either. Same reason. Can’t stand him. Pretty sad to feel that way about the president of the USA. He is so divisive….can’t take it and what he’s done to our country.

Reply

creeper November 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

Note that none of the gutless wonders who actually had the opportunity to ask questions came up with anything meaningful.

Reply

Langley Spook (I keep my pants on) November 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

How were the “sycophants” (aka: journalists) chosen by the Obama WH to ask questions at that pathetic, shameful “propaganda confenrence” yesterday?

Reply

Death Ray November 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Keith-

I really have to wonder about you sometimes. Comparing Nichols to Munro is like comparing apples to a very rude, unprofessional reporter who blurted out questions in the middle of a prepared statement and then pretended he didn’t know what he was doing.

If you think Munro was being “gutsy” by interrupting the president when all the other sheep were simply milling about their pen, fine. But please stop pretending that Munro unintentionally jumped the gun because he misjudged Obama’s dénouement. That is plainly not the truth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGk8Kwuxcv4

Reply

Lizzy November 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm

That woman from the Chicago Tribune waxing orgasmic over Obama’s win
should have her journalist papers yanked or at least get a room. Discusting.

Reply

David K November 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm

My question would be, “Mr President, which impeachable offense do you think the Republicans should start with, Fast and Furious or Benghazi?”

Reply

Jill Farrell November 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

1) Please add to blog roll: Corruption Chronicles http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/
—–
2) Obama Admin Admits Info Released to Zero Dark Thirty Might Pose ‘security risk’ http://bit.ly/ZRIRaA

Reply

Sadie November 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Judicial Watch – doing the work that should be done by our representatives and media.

Reply

Susan November 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Amen. There is no honor among the ruling class crooks and thieves.

Reply

Teo November 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Isnt there a pretty big difference between a press conference and a Rose Garden statement? I’m not in the media business but I cringed when I saw footage of the DC reporter shouting down the president in the Rose Garden. It’s hugely different, it seems, than a press conference where reporters are posing questions already. DC reporter reminded us all of the “you Lie!” comment at the SOTU.

Reply

Langley Spook (I keep my pants on) November 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I seem to remember growing up watching US Presidents make Rose Garden Statements, and then after those Statements it usually became an impromptu “press conferences” where the President had no problems answering a few quick questions from the press.

Obama has done everything he can to avoid ANY real questions from the press from 2008 to present, and the pathetic sycophant “press” goes along with it all. A pox on todays “media/press”.

Reply

Sadie November 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Joint Session of Congress – not SOTU.

It was Obama that took a swipe at SCOTUS during the SOTU.

It’s rare—almost unprecedented—for the president to critique the Supreme Court during a State of the Union address. But Obama did just that last night, pointedly observing that the court’s recent campaign finance decision had “reversed a century of law” and “open[ed] the floodgates” for special interest money in elections.

Reply

sonya November 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Keith, Thanks for your work and website!

As for the MSM, I can’t even stomach to watch it. MSNBC is the National Enquirer for the TV.

IMHO, people that only get their news from the three major three (CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News) would naturally believe Fox News is the radical of the three since they are definitely the odd man out.

Unfortunately, the world is full of sheeple. Thinking critically is a lost art.

Reply

Abu Nudnik November 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm

What’s with the obsequious attitude anyway? Who is elected to be the peoples’ servant? He should have to answer questions. Not just him – all presidents.

Reply

MICHAEL A. RORER November 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm

The Late WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE–Believe-it-or-NOT!–ELOQUENTLY-
PENNED “THE BIO.-SKETCH”–FOR BOTH “COMRADE-OBAMA,” AND “COMRADE-HOLDER”–IN HIS “KING LEAR”–ACT II, SCENE 2, (q.v.):
“A Knave, a Rascal, an Eater of Broken-Meats; a Base,
Proud, Shallow, Beggarly, Three-Suited, Hundred-Pound,
Filthy, Worsted-Stocking Knave; a Lily-Livered, Action-
Taking, Whoreson, Glass-Gazing, Superserviceable, Finical
Rogue; One-Trunk-Inheriting Slave; One that wouldst be a
Bawd in Way of Good Service, and art Nothing but the
Composition of a Knave, Beggar, Coward, Pander, and the
Son and Heir of a Mongrel Bitch; one whom I will Beat
into Clamorous Whining if thou deny’st the Least Syllable
of thy addition”!!!
What “Better-Fitting-Description” could we Possibly-Have–of “COMRADE-OBAMA,” or of “COMRADE-HOLDER”!?! –Faithfully yours:
MICHAEL A. RORER

Reply