Daily Caller Reporter Neil Munro Heckles President Obama During Immigration Statement

President Obama was about a half hour past schedule for his remarks in the Rose Garden this afternoon announcing the immigration policy changes that James Joyner wrote about earlier, which have generated quite the discussion in the comment thread by the way, but when he got there the announcement itself soon became overshadowed by a reporter from Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller:

President Obama was heckled in the Rose Garden today by a reporter from the Daily Caller, the conservative political website.

While announcing a new change in immigration policy, The DC’s Neil Munro yelled, “Why’d you favor foreigners over Americans?”

“Excuse me, sir, but it’s not time for questions,” Obama said.

“Are you going to take questions?” Munro asked.

“Not while I’m speaking.” Obama said.

Tucker Carlson, the editor of the Daily Caller, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though he confirmed the news via Twitter.

“Yes, that was TheDC’s Neil Munro who dared question the president in the Rose Garden,” he wrote. “Everyone’s defying precedent today, it seems.”

Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher identifies the pass Munro is wearing as a temporary press pass, as did CBS’s White House Reporter Mark Knoller. My guess is that it will be very temporary.

Here’s the video, as you can see the President became visibly, and I think understandably, upset with Munro:

It’s really quite astounding actually. I can remember Sam Donaldson shouting questions at President Reagan as he was headed to Marine One, or leaving the Presidential Limousine, and when reporters would try to get the Presidents attention by calling out during a press conference so he’d pick them (in the days before Presidents picked reporters by name), but never a reporter interrupting a President in the middle of a speech. In the White House Rose Garden no less. I’m sure Munro is getting a good old slap on the back from Carlson and all the other Daily Caller people, not to mention most conservatives. In reality, he revealed himself to be nothing more than a rude jerk.

Update: Neil Munro is now saying this:

“I always go to the White House prepared with questions for our president. I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States. I know he rarely takes questions before walking away from the podium. When I asked the question as he finished his speech, he turned his back on the many reporters, and walked away while I and at least one other reporter asked questions.”

Believable? Watch the video and decide on your own.

Photo via Getty Images

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    Maybe he took tips from the Romney campaign’s idea of honking horns during Obama’s speech yesterday.

  2. PJ says:

    I’m sure Munro is getting a good old slap on the back from Carlson and all the other Daily Caller people, not to mention most conservatives.

    Good joke.

    “Yes, that was TheDC’s Neil Munro who dared question the president in the Rose Garden,” he wrote. “Everyone’s defying precedent today, it seems.”

    In reality, he revealed himself to be nothing more than a rude jerk.

    The Daily Caller are partisan rude jerks and trolls. Nothing more.

  3. PJ says:

    Proud…

    We are very proud of, @NeilMunroDC for doing his job

    They will get their temporary pass revoked and then spend the next week or two crying about how they are being punished for asking the President questions.

  4. wr says:

    I’m sure Jan will be along soon to explain how this was actually a bold strike for freedom, just like Romney’s honking bus. Because now freedom is synonymous with being a creep.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    Neil was just doing what the media does these days – call attention to itself.

    I’ve got no problem with it, and I thought Obama handled it well enough.

  6. Chad S says:

    Actually, most conservatives are criticizing this as disrespectful.

  7. EddieInCA says:

    @Chad S:

    Really? Who? I can’t find one. Can you post a link or two.

  8. PJ says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith have both criticized it.
    Gutter clown Dan Riehl then attacked Wallace and Smith.

  9. Chad S says:

    @EddieInCA: Fratto, Ponnuru and Podhoretz have condemned it via twitter. I haven’t seen anyone support it who wasn’t connected to the Daily Caller.

  10. Dean says:

    While I believe that Munro should have waited until President Obama finished his remarks to ask a question, I don’t believe he “heckled” the President. Did he interrupt him? Absolutely. Was that rude? Again, absolutely. However, that was not heckling as defined by Websters.

  11. PJ says:

    @EddieInCA:
    John Podhoretz has criticized Neil Munro.
    He also gets attacked on Twitter for that.

  12. Franklin says:

    @al-Ameda: I agree 100% with your concise analysis.

  13. EddieInCA says:

    @PJ:

    I think both Wallace and Shepherd would argue that they’re not conservatives. They work for Fox, but both strike me as more moderate than conservative.

  14. Buzz Buzz says:

    HOW DARE ANYONE QUESTION GOD-KING OBAMA!

  15. PJ says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Agree.

  16. Buzz Buzz says:

    Napoleon, with the dogs following him, now mounted on to the raised portion of the floor where Major had previously stood to deliver his speech. He announced that from now on the Sunday-morning Meetings would come to an end. They were unnecessary, he said, and wasted time. In future all questions relating to the working of the farm would be settled by a special committee of pigs, presided over by himself. These would meet in private and afterwards communicate their decisions to the others. The animals would still assemble on Sunday mornings to salute the flag, sing ‘Beasts of England’, and receive their orders for the week; but there would be no more debates.

    In spite of the shock that Snowball’s expulsion had given them, the animals were dismayed by this announcement. Several of them would have
    protested if they could have found the right arguments. Even Boxer was vaguely troubled. He set his ears back, shook his forelock several times,
    and tried hard to marshal his thoughts; but in the end he could not think of anything to say. Some of the pigs themselves, however, were more
    articulate. Four young porkers in the front row uttered shrill squeals of disapproval, and all four of them sprang to their feet and began speaking
    at once. But suddenly the dogs sitting round Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls, and the pigs fell silent and sat down again. Then the
    sheep broke out into a tremendous bleating of “Four legs good, two legs bad!” which went on for nearly a quarter of an hour and put an end to any
    chance of discussion.

  17. Jack Moss says:

    Good for Munro. He is a veteran White House reporter – the temp badge is issued not to individuals – but to organizations. Obama’s making a power-grab on the constitution and the press and quite frankly this writer are out to lunch on it. Good thing we have those who don’t kowtow to this president who would be king.

  18. wr says:

    @Jack Moss: New Republican line: If anyone behaves with common courtesy around this Kenyan usurper, they are actually kowtowing. Only those who act like adolescent dicks really believe in freedom.

    Can’t wait to see what a government made up solely of Nelson Muntz wannabees will do to the country.

  19. Buzz Buzz says:

    There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.

  20. Tlaloc says:

    Maybe he took tips from the Romney campaign’s idea of honking horns during Obama’s speech yesterday.

    I do have to wonder if they are trying to provoke an “angry black man” incident…

  21. Scott O. says:

    @Tlaloc: Nah, they’re just dicks.

  22. mattb says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I think both Wallace and Shepherd would argue that they’re not conservatives.

    I’d take it one step further and say they would ultimately identify as Journalists and attempt to stay out of partisanship one way or the other.

    The pundits are really the ones to watch on this issue. Kudos to Fratto, Ponnuru and Podhoretz.

  23. John Cole says:

    While I believe that Munro should have waited until President Obama finished his remarks to ask a question, I don’t believe he “heckled” the President.

    Look at the question he asked: “Why’d you favor foreigners over Americans?”

    He interrupts President Obama’s prepared remarks to ask him if he stopped beating his wife, then, when rebuffed, continues to mouth off. That’s the definition of heckling.

  24. John,

    Yea, I’ll agree with you here. That’s not a real question that’s propagandistic nonsense

  25. John Cole says:

    @Doug Mataconis: For once, a harmonic convergence between the Mataconis and Cole worldviews.

  26. I am looking for signs of matter/anti-matter explosion but so far we seem to be safe

  27. PD Shaw says:

    In reality, he revealed himself to be nothing more than a rude jerk.

    Having now listened to it; I agree.

  28. lankyloo says:

    Careful you two. You don’t want people getting the wrong idea about you.

  29. ernieyeball says:

    @EddieInCA: I think both Wallace and Shepherd would argue that they’re not conservatives. They work for Fox, but both strike me as more moderate than conservative.

    For What it’s Worth:
    “On October 11, 2006, The Washington Post revealed that Wallace had been a registered Democrat for more than two decades. Wallace explained his party affiliation in terms of pragmatism, insisting that being a Democrat is the only feasible means of participating in the political process in heavily Democratic Washington, D.C. He maintained he had voted for candidates from both major parties in the past.” WikiP

  30. PD Shaw says:

    I’m not sure propoganda is the right term there. It certainly wasn’t a serious question. A rhetorical question? From Wikipedia: “a figure of speech in the form of a question that is asked in order to make a point and without the expectation of a reply.”

  31. PD Shaw says:

    A better rhetorical question: “Mr. President, if the Dream Act children were broccoli, do you believe you could force people to eat soylent green?”

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    HOW DARE ANYONE QUESTION GOD-KING OBAMA!

    You have a messiah fetish?
    Why do conservatives think that Obama is a messiah?

  33. labman57 says:

    The Internet has redefined what constitutes investigative journalism and news reporting. Even so, reporters investigate and report the news story — they don’t try to become the focal point of the news story.

    If political bloggers do not regard themselves as true reporters, then they should not expect to be issued a press pass.

    If they want to create the news by injecting themselves into the story, … well then they should apply for a job with News Corp.

  34. superdestroyer says:

    Others question to ask the president.

    1. How does importing millions of illegal aliens help lower the greenhouse gas emissions of the U.S. Also how does importing millions of illegal aliens help the U.S. to lower its dependency on imported oil?

    2. How does importing millions of people from third world countries who do not speak English at home help the public schools in the U.S. improve? How does divertying money from science and math education to ESL and remedial educaiton help the U.S. compete in techology?

    3. How does importing millions of people from other countries help improve the computes of American citizens? How does the U.S. afford health insurance for all while importing millions of people from outside the U.S.

    Of course, how does the president reconcile his supposed policy positions with the promotion of open borders and unlimited immigration.

  35. ernieyeball says:

    …they don’t try to become the focal point of the news story.

    Some times they can’t avoid it…

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4462053n

  36. Bruce Henry says:

    @Chad S: Sure they are.

  37. Lola says:

    Our President is doing the right thing by allowing college students to be able to stay in our Country if they want to pursue becoming an American citizen. But some people just do not like the idea of equal rights.
    When you think about all the illegal immigrants like Marco Rubio parents, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Madeline Albright, Charlize Theron, etc., etc. who have richly to our landscape, why should we refuse to add to our assets?
    An Immigration bill has been in congress for almost a year, and the Republicans have refused to act — act on anything. So, why shouldn’t our President exert his authority?

  38. noyb says:

    @PJ: Is anyone concerned about the implications of the president’s trampling on the constitution? Or should we focus on a reporter asking a question out of turn?

  39. Dubious says:

    This “helpful or unhelpful” total proves that not-very-bright people tread here.