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Tag Archives: Neil Munro

Unlike Conservative, MSM Reporter Applauded for WH Outburst

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.

Peers Unlikely to Sanction Daily Caller WH Reporter

Daily Caller White House reporter Neil Munro’s colleagues in the White House Correspondents Association seem unlikely to punish Munro for interrupting President Obama’s speech in the Rose Garden last month with a shouted question.

According to the minutes of a June 29 WHCA board meeting, released today, board members expressed “little interest in official censure or action” against Munro.

Immediately following the June 29 incident, there were calls for Munro to be barred from the White House, fired, or at the very least tied at the wrists between two thoroughbreds ordered to run in opposite directions.

Fox News White House Correspondent Ed Henry raised the issue, according to the minutes:

(Henry) said he didn’t believe the role of the board was policing journalists, but he had a concern about decorum. It was wrong to interrupt the president, he said . . .

Henry said he spoke to Tucker Carlson, editor in chief of the Daily Caller, about the matter. Carlson submitted this note to the board:

To the Correspondents’ Association:

The Daily Caller has been part of the in-town pool rotation for more than two years. During that time I’m not aware of any complaints about the behavior or coverage of our reporters while serving in the pool. We understand that the purpose of the pool is to serve the press corps at large, and we take that responsibility seriously. We’re grateful to be part of it.


Tucker Carlson

editor in chief, The Daily Caller

Board members noted the difference between open press and pooled events, and agreed decorum in both cases is essential, with a heightened responsibility during pool shifts.

There was little interest in official censure or action among board members, although all expressed general agreement with Henry’s assessment of the incident.

Munro said his interruption was merely an ill-timed attempt to question the president, saying he thought Obama had just finished his remarks. The board’s emphasis on decorum suggests that its members don’t believe him, even as they decided not to act against him.

Munro continues to cover the White House for The Daily Caller.

Neil Munro Through the Decades

I’m sorry to post another one of these. I just think they’re too funny.

The Daily Caller has uncovered rare photographs chronicling reporter Neil Munro’s evolution through the years, leading ultimately that point Friday where he interrupted President Obama in the Rose Garden with a question he says was mistimed.

Here’s a shot from the early days of this bold reporter’s career, well before he went full time into journalism.

Neil has a good sense of humor and I’m sure he’s taking the ribbing from his colleagues very well.