The Other Side Of The Neil Munro Story: Obama Doesn’t Take Many Questions

Neil Munro acted like a jerk, but Barack Obama needs to be more open to questions than he has been.

While there’s no question that what The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro did this afternoon was rude, obnoxious, unprofessional, and disrespectful, it is worth noting that President Obama has shown an aversion to taking questions at anything other than Presidential Press Conferences:

That’s par for the course for Obama, who rarely takes questions from the press pool that follows him almost futilely to his staged events.

Even when he intends to take questions, he does so sparingly. At his last “press conference” at the White House, Obama called on just three reporters.

A Towson professor studied Obama’s aversion to his press corps in February and found that he had held only 17 solo press conferences by then, fewer at that point than Bill Clinton (31), George H.W. Bush (56) and Ronald Reagan (21), though more than George W. Bush (11).

And at impromptu encounters with the press pool, Obama took questions just 94 times — a puny number compared with Bush Jr. (307), Clinton (493), Bush Sr. (263) and Reagan (120).

Over time, I’ve heard many reporters who had spent time as part of the White House Press Corps say that they were glad to leave, or to step outside the role of White House Reporter to cover a campaign, because the job doesn’t really involve much real reporting. Instead, it’s been likened to being more of a stenographer for the White House Press Office than a reporter and with one’s access to the Press Office and the President being entirely up to the Communications Office, there’s little opportunity to deviate from the strict rules that the White House sets for Presidential appearances. Today’s event, for example, was a “no questions” event, meaning that the President would not be soliciting questions after the event, leaving reporters to shout questions hoping that the President would answer them, although usually he doesn’t as the statistics about lay out quite clearly. If you want to preserve your access, though, you can’t stray too far from the line.

This is problematic primarily because it’s really not in the public interest for the White House to be able to control the press in this manner since allowing them to do that allows them to control the news cycle. If they don’t want the President to answer questions about the ongoing conflict between Eric Holder and Congress over Fast & Furious, for example, they just need to make sure that there aren’t many opportunities for the President to be confronted with questions. If there’s a story in the news cycle that they don’t want the President to answer, then they can just make a particular even a “no questions” event.  Even at the Daily Press Briefings, reporters other than those with the major television networks and news outlets struggle to get the opportunity to ask even a single question a month.

Notwithstanding the fact that Neil Munro acted like a jerk, that kind of insulation of the President from the press on the part of the White House is problematic because, at least in theory, the press is supposed to be there to ask the questions that Americans themselves cannot ask themselves. In all honesty, it’s probably the case that Munro has actually made the situation worse for the White House Press Corps, and the public, because his behavior makes it more likely that the Press Office is going to control the Presidents access to the media even more tightly between now and the election.

It’s somewhat ironic that this should all come up now, because Sunday happens to be the 25th 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and the beginning of the end of the Nixon Administration. More than anything else, that event put an end to what some would call a friendly, perhaps even incestuous, relationship between the Presidency and the press. Before Watergate, the Press Office didn’t need to control the Press Corps’s access to the President because the press censored itself. Americans didn’t see FDR in a wheelchair, or struggling to walk to a podium, because the press considered it “disrespectful.” We didn’t hear the stories about his deteriorating health in advance of the 1944 election and in the final months of World War II. We didn’t learn that the real reason that Democratic Party insiders replaced Henry Wallace with Harry Truman as FDR’s running mate at the 1944 convention was because it was fairly certain that he wouldn’t last another four year term and they wanted a Vice-President who could be trusted to be President. They didn’t hear about President Kennedy’s Addison’s Disease or the back problems that kept him on pain killers for most of his Presidency. They didn’t hear about his personal life, including relationships with women who had ties to members of the Mafia. They didn’t hear about the time LBJ was hitting on female reporters at his ranch in Texas.

Watergate brought an end to all that, and created a much more adversarial relationship between the press corps and the White House, which I would submit is largely a good thing. A press corps that hides Presidential secrets is not doing the job it should be doing for the American people, and is in fact acting more like an agent of the state than a group of independent journalists. So, Woodward and Bernstein, and Dan Rather, and Sam Donaldson, and today guys like Jake Tapper have done the nation a service. Unfortunately, post-Watergate Administrations have responded to this independence on the part of the press by clamping down on press access to the President and Administration officials, setting ground rules that often seem designed to replicate the veil of secrecy that existed in the pre-Watergate era. That’s not a good thing at all.

Of course, the answer to all of this isn’t for reporters to follow Neil Munro’s example and act like obnoxious jerks. As I noted, all that is likely to accomplish is to make press access even more restrictive. Instead, the press should be making the American people aware of this problem and we should be demanding that the President, and all our elected officials, make themselves available for questioning, even by openly critical reporters, on a far more regular basis.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, 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. mantis says:

    So is this just an obsession with access for the WH press corps, or ignorance of other media access? As your link shows (or the link within it), Obama does far, far more interviews than his predecessors. Do interviews not count?

    The total of solo press conferences he’s had anywhere — such as on foreign soil after a summit – is 29. George W. Bush’s total is 11 — he didn’t hold any solo press conferences outside the White House up to this point. Bill Clinton held 40 solo press conferences in his first three years; George H.W. Bush held 72; Reagan held 21.

    President Obama has been far more reluctant to engage in impromptu back and forth with reporters, at photo sprays and the like. President Obama has taken questions at 94 such events.
    For Bush Jr. that number was 307; for Bill Clinton, 493; for Bush Sr., 263; for Reagan 120.

    Mr. Obama has given more interviews: 408. His predecessor at this point had given 136 interviews, while Bill Clinton had given 166. Reagan gave 164. (Numbers for George H.W. Bush are still being researched.)

    As Brian Stelter of the New York Times points out Mr. Obama’s interviews have been with myriad inquisitors, from ABC News World News anchor Diane Sawyer last week to users of Google+ this week. Mr. Obama was the first sitting president to come on “The Tonight Show,” for instance.

    Considering the myriad idiotic questions asked at WH press conferences, I don’t blame the president for focusing media time on one-on-one interviews.

  2. mantis,

    An obsession with access?

    He’s the freaking President of the United States, what gives him the right to act like the Queen of England and dodge the press?

  3. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    An obsession with access?

    You forgot the rest of the sentence, conveniently. You ever meet an argument you can’t turn into a strawman?

    He’s the freaking President of the United States, what gives him the right to act like the Queen of England and dodge the press?

    Did you not notice where I pointed out that contrary to your assertion that he is “dodging the press,” he is merely granting many more media interviews than his predecessors while holding fewer press conferences (except for GWB, who held even less than Obama).

    Why do you consider fewer press conferences “dodging the press” and ignore far more interviews? Why weren’t his predecessors “dodging the press” by holding fewer interviews than Obama?

  4. mantis says:

    Oh, and I’d love to see your posts complaining that George W. Bush acted like the Queen for holding even fewer press conferences than Obama. Ditto Reagan, who held fewer than Obama if you count press conferences outside the White House.

    I notice your “both sides do it” argument is only deployed when a Republican does something you don’t like. How convenient.

  5. Chad S says:

    Nothing excuses acting like a jerk.

  6. Console says:

    The DC press corp is not our salvation.

  7. Well, I wasn’t blogging here at OTB when Bush was President and most of my criticism of Bush back then was about his out of control spending, his unnecessary war in Iraq, and the fact that he was authorizing torture.

    So, clearly, I’m a GOP tool

  8. steve says:

    Doug- Why would shouted out questions at a photo-op be preferable to interviews? Wouldnt the opportunity for follow up questions at an interview be better? (Of course, it would be nice to have some details on the interviews, and the photo op questions.)

    Steve

  9. @mantis:

    Also, Mantis, yea Reagan’s press conference numbers are comparatively low. I didn’t blog about it, though, because I was in Middle School, High School and College at the time. Also, the World Wide Web didn’t exist at the time.

    Of course when Reagan was President we lived in a very different press environment. CNN didn’t even exist while he was in office.

  10. @steve:

    One-on-one interviews are the most controlled environments of all and typically only given to trusted journalists or under conditions that limit the amount of time there is to tape said interview.

    Personally I think the President should make himself available to the press corps at least twice a month with no restrictions on who can ask questions (Obama has the annoying habit of picking who gets to ask him a question)

  11. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I honestly believed prior to three minutes ago that I would never be shocked at an event that you managed to turn into Both Sides Do It!.

    I stand corrected.

  12. Jeremy says:

    So the pre-Watergate press corps was like the Japanese press clubs? Dear god, its a wonder that the government only overstepped its bounds as much as it did.

    As for Munro, he was clearly out of line. Like it or not, shouting questions like that is just unprofessional. However, I do disagree with Doug here a bit–I take the Gene Healy route, and wish the president would shut up more often. That guy opens his mouth a considerable bit, and while much of that isn’t with reporters, it’s still something.

    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/president-talks-too-much

  13. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Well, I wasn’t blogging here at OTB when Bush was President and most of my criticism of Bush back then was about his out of control spending, his unnecessary war in Iraq, and the fact that he was authorizing torture.

    And you have far bigger problems with Obama than press conferences, yet you still compare him to the Queen for holding more of them than GWB.

    So, clearly, I’m a GOP tool

    I’m not saying that, but you clearly judge Republicans and Democrats by different sets of rules.

    Of course when Reagan was President we lived in a very different press environment. CNN didn’t even exist while he was in office.

    What does that have to do with the amount of press conferences he held?

    In either case, I understand you wouldn’t have been blogging about Reagan for obvious reasons, and were not concerned with Bush’s press conferences, but looking at their numbers now, would you compare them to the Queen, dodging the press?

    Personally I think the President should make himself available to the press corps at least twice a month with no restrictions on who can ask questions (Obama has the annoying habit of picking who gets to ask him a question)

    Why is this a rule you only come up with when Obama is president? How come it wasn’t important to you before?

  14. mantis,

    I think the increasing propensity of Presidents (not just Obama) and their aides to restrict press access is a real problem. I’ve made note of it here before, including a post in 2010 when I noted that it had been nearly a year since Obama had held a press conference. The Munro incident was just an opportunity to comment on it again.

  15. Chad S says:

    For a blog that even entitled itself to try and distance itself from the “inside of the beltway” memes and discussions, Doug sure likes to post/talk like a stock and trade inside the beltway person.

  16. Jeremy,

    It’s not even the shouting of the question so much as the interrupting. I remember when I first got involved in politics attending a debate for Mayor of the town I grew up in. The questions were coming from citizens, not reporters. In the middle of one of the candidate’s responses, someone in the audience started loudly disagreeing. I was 18 at the time, but my response was “What a jerk.”

    I wonder if that citizen was Neil Munro’s father.

  17. Grommitt,

    So you’re fine with a President who refuses to answer press questions?

  18. Davebo says:

    (Obama has the annoying habit of picking who gets to ask him a question)

    Wow! That’s totally unprecedented…… You’ve really stumbled onto the real story Doug.

    Has anyone from TheDC or NROnline contacted you yet for an interview?

    Other than Console’s revelation that journalism doesn’t equal Salvation your’s is the greatest insight in this post. So I guess you’re almost there!

    Keep hacking away at it.

  19. rudderpedals says:

    This was no more than the Joe Wilson shtick in press drag. I thought your first quick take post was the better take.

  20. Ben Wolf says:

    I completely agree that Barack Obama is too heavily managed and avoids answering tough questions. I wish we had a law requiring presidents to engage in something similar to Question Time so they can’t hide, duck and dodge scrutiny the way Bush and Obama have. Our presidents are public servants, not Imperators and frankly ought to be raked over the coals on a regular basis.

  21. PD Shaw says:

    @rudderpedals: The President was calling Joe Wilson (or people like him) a liar; his interjection was uncivil, but understandable. Munro doesn’t have that excuse.

  22. anjin-san says:

    I didn’t blog about it, though, because I was in Middle School, High School and College at the time. Also, the World Wide Web didn’t exist at the time.

    So it is clearly not possible for you to put Obama’s relationship with the press in a reasonable historical context and compare it honestly to that of his predecessors?

    That response would be a little lame even if you were still in middle school.

  23. Ben,

    The problem with an American equivalent of Question Time — at least in the governmental sense — is that in the UK the Prime Minister is essentially part of Parliament so it’s entirely appropriate for him and his Cabinet to be subjected to questioning by the legislature. We’ve got a different type of government, so it wouldn’t quite work here.

    What it might take is a President with guts who says ‘heck yea, I’ll go out and take uncensored questions from the press once a week’ or whatever time period you might pick. Establish a custom, and it’ll be hard for subsequent President’s to break it. For an example of that, just look at the Weekly Presidential Address, that didn’t start until President Reagan started doing a radio address every Saturday when he entered office. It’s been 30 years and every President since has done it.

  24. Anjin-San,

    Yea it is because I have been closely following politics for 30 years or so.

    Yes, it’s true, I was a political nerd in Middle School. This obviously worked well with the girls.

  25. steve says:

    am totally with Ben. In general, the press treats our politicians with way too much respect. I would love a Question Time. However, I would also like to have real interviews by people qualified to give them.

    Steve

  26. NoZe says:

    Ummm, if you check the date I think you’ll find that Sunday is the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in.

  27. Yea, fixed.

    That may or may not have been my unconscious attempt to pretend I was only 29

  28. rudderpedals says:

    @PD Shaw: The break with civility accorded President is the common corrossive element. It plays well to a constituency that holds Obama as illegimate. Joe Wilson may argue that he was gripped by some irresistible tourette-like impulse and I’d believe it if he’d say that on his way to treatment.

  29. al-Ameda says:

    Over time, I’ve heard many reporters who had spent time as part of the White House Press Corps say that they were glad to leave, or to step outside the role of White House Reporter to cover a campaign, because the job doesn’t really involve much real reporting. Instead, it’s been likened to being more of a stenographer for the White House Press Office than a reporter and with one’s access to the Press Office and the President being entirely up to the Communications Office, there’s little opportunity to deviate from the strict rules that the White House sets for Presidential appearances.

    In a kind of symmetrical way I believe that presidents have come to see press conferences and Q&A as somewhat dangerous venues where much is out of their control. I generally see the press conference Q&A as largely a waste of time with softball questions tossed around and reporters lie in wait for misstatements that can be pounced on (like the one Obama made a week ago). No wonder presidents blow off the Q&As.

  30. Tom says:

    Yeah, Bush never got heckled by reporters….they just threw shoes at him. And everyone remembers the uproar in favor him after that.

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @Tom:

    Yeah, Bush never got heckled by reporters….they just threw shoes at him. And everyone remembers the uproar in favor him after that.

    That was not the American White House Press Corps that threw shoes at Bush

  32. David Koch says:

    “he was a jerk, but he had no choice because Obama ….”

    you’re pathetic

  33. I agree Obama should take more questions, but Munro’s “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” question was so unserious that even if Obama had been taking questions I wouldn’t have expected him to answer it.

  34. bk says:

    @Tom:

    Yeah, Bush never got heckled by reporters….they just threw shoes at him. And everyone remembers the uproar in favor him after that.

    That took place in Baghdad. And it involved an Iraqi reporter. Otherwise, your response fits in perfectly with the “both sides do it” philosophy of the OP.

  35. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I don’t think that you’ve proven that he doesn’t, especially with the selective quotations regarding total interviews, pressers, etc.

    Regrardless, the real issue here is Munro’s conduct. Any President or Vice President deserves to be treated with a modicum of decorum at public events. My surprise was at your decision to essentially back up Treacher’s coworker,’s action, since your argument boils down to “he might have gone about it inartfully, but his motivations were legitimate.”

  36. Grommitt,

    Did you bother to read my first post on this incident? That’s exactly what I said.

    Notwithstanding that, though, there is a serious question about the extent to which the President’s staff shields him from the press.

  37. David Koch says:

    As someone else points out, Romney doesn’t take questions, either. Just today he was asked several questions after his response to Obama’s EO. Reasonable questions, like “will you continue or lift the executive order if elected”. And he refused to answer every question.

    And this isn’t new. He’s been doing this for 18 months. Ben Smith famously said, Romney was hiding in the “Mittness Protection Program”.

    He’s the only presidential nominee to refuse to appear on MTP. If he can’t handle David Gregory, then how is he gonna handle Putin?

    And yet, you don’t mention that once. Not once. Funny that.

  38. Dazedandconfused says:

    The only Pres I can remember that relished such things was Clinton. That said, I would like it if Obama would do that much more often. His “IT’S A TRAP” taking of questions from the opponents on healthcare showed that he certainly has the mental agility to do it. FOX had to cut the feed to their viewers, reminiscent of the time when they cut the filming of Jack Johnson beating the crap out of some white guy long ago.

    Mitt, has been pretty shy himself on this as well. I would like something like PM’s questions very much, I think.

  39. David Koch says:

    I’m sure if some lefty blogger had interrupted Romney’s statement today with some repugnant questions, you would have written, “while it was wrong, it was born out of frustration with Romney’s refusal to answer questions these past 18 months.”

  40. some guy says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Now who’s dodging? You’re having an awfully hard time answering a simple question about whether Obama’s interviews count as media access.

  41. MarkedMan says:

    Iin the first comment here I learned a lot about the different kinds of press interactions and how the last few presidents used them. I learned that Obama uses one on one interviews more than shouted press questions. One thing I already knew, and so didn’t have to learn? That Mataconis would make a strained ‘both sides are at fault argument’, have his shallow premise demolished by the first blogger and then, rather than admit that the commenter had a good point, he would bluster, change the subject and flap his hands around as he works himself into self righteous indignation.

  42. jan says:

    I agree with both steve and Ben regarding a President not being protected from answering hard questions. He’s the leader of this country, and it’s a reasonable request of people for him to be open and able to answer questions regarding why he does what he does.

    OTOH, there is a certain decorum in this country on how we conduct such questioning. While I understand the faux pas behind Neil Munro’s interruption, he was out of line in his ‘shout out.’ This also seems to be the consensus of conservatives, most (not all) whom have not bailed the man out by excusing his actions. The same happened when Joe Wilson blurted out his comment. He received plenty of criticism from republican, as well.

    Generally speaking, I think republicans exhibit a greater tendancy to censor their own more, for what is perceived as untoward behavior, than democrats do. .

  43. Herb says:

    No, let’s not take this opportunity to critique how Obama won’t take questions at press conferences.

    This was a speech. It’s not audience participation. There is no question and answer period.

    This one’s real easy: Grow up. Act professional. This ain’t TMZ. It’s the White House.

  44. DRE says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    That may or may not have been my unconscious attempt to pretend I was only 29

    Does that also explain your statement that CNN (founded in 1980) didn’t exist while Reagan was president?

  45. Apparently.

    Nonetheless, it is a fact that the 365/24/7 media circus did not exist when Reagan was President

  46. Herb,

    Yea, let’s just let the President make speeches without having to worry about anyone questioning what he says. That’s so much easier, isn’t it?

  47. @some guy:

    Controlled one-on-one interviews are far different from an open press conference. And if you don’t recognize that, the you don’t understand how easy it is for Presidential press aides to control the press

  48. @steve:
    Mainly because Obama’s “interviews” have been carefully stage managed and practically scripted on both sides by Obama’s permanent campaign team.

  49. Herb says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Oh, c’mon, man. He’s got a press corps following his every move. He most definitely has to worry about people questioning what he says.

    Apparently he does have to worry about speaking without interruption. I mean, I know that many on the right are incapable of respecting the man. Can’t they at least respect the rest of us?

  50. jan says:

    @Herb:

    Obama is president of both the left and the right. When he is making unilateral decisions,
    dealing with a hot topic like immigration, I think taking questions is the least he can do to allay partisan differences . The interruption by Neil Munro was uncalled for. But, so was Obama’s one-way stance of approaching this highly disputed wedge issue.

    A President makes no points when he muscles his way through controversial problems without any diplomacy involved, or consideration for other divisions of decision-making arms of government, such as the Congress.

  51. Herb says:

    @jan:

    “I think taking questions is the least he can do to allay partisan differences “

    It may be the least he can do but I also think professional, respectful behavior earns you the right to have your questions answered rather than just having an opinion and the accompanying asshole.

  52. jan says:

    @Herb:

    From what I understood the President told reporters he wasn’t taking questions. The reporter, who made the error, was trying to get one in at, what he assumed, was the end of his comments. The reporter was wrong, but so was Obama, for not allowing himself to be questioned, especially after such an important and out-of-the-blue announcement.

    Furthermore…

    Matthew Continetti aptly discribes Obama’s Ohio’s speech as his pity party. It gives credence to those who say this is why he brought out his immigration decree, the next day, as a means to salvage his declining ability to convince people why they should vote him in for a second term. Today, though, his appeal was to placate the Hispanic constituency, for two years.

    Obama’s overly long, repetitive, and by turns self-pitying and self-congratulatory address was so soaked through with nostalgia that MSNBC should have broadcast it in sepia tones. The speech—which even the liberal Obama biographer Jonathan Alter called one of the president’s “least successful” political communications—revealed an incumbent desperately trying to replay the 2008 election. But no oratory will make up for a flawed record and a vague, fissiparous, and unappealing agenda.

  53. anjin-san says:

    A President makes no points when he muscles his way through controversial problems without any diplomacy involved, or consideration for other divisions of decision-making arms of government, such as the Congress.

    Hmmm. Does the house make points when it makes it clear that it’s only agenda is to defeat the incumbent President and governing is not a consideration?

  54. anjin-san says:

    And if you don’t recognize that, the you don’t understand how easy it is for Presidential press aides to control the press

    Ah, so the guy who did not think CNN existed in the 80s is schooling people now?

  55. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    That earlier, one-time comment by Mitch McConnell has been retold repeatedly — it’s like an old carpet that has been walked on so much it has holes in it. I know it’s deliciously inappropriate, and thus fun to repeat and play with, when contesting anything done that is considered, by the republicans, to be uncouth tactics by the dems. But, isn’t it time to start addressing the present slings and arrows rather than ones of years’ past?

  56. Herb says:

    @jan:

    “The reporter, who made the error, was trying to get one in at, what he assumed, was the end of his comments. The reporter was wrong, but so was Obama, for not allowing himself to be questioned”

    No one in this country is obligated to answer a reporter’s questions. Not even the president.

    Yes, it’s nice when he does. But when he doesn’t, you can talk to the press secretary. That’s what he’s there for.

    What we have here is a disrespectful, unprofessional jackass mistaking “being disruptive” for “reporting.” If he was a movie reviewer and showed up to a screening acting like that, he would not be invited back.

    There is no “why doesn’t Obama answer more reporter’s question” debate to be had. If they act like Neil Munro, it’s a self-answering question.

  57. Herb says:

    @Herb: Also…this:

    “Today, though, his appeal was to placate the Hispanic constituency, for two years.”

    So what? It’s an election year.

    Mitt Romney’s trying to placate rich people, evangelicals, and neo-cons. He’s just not president yet. Let’s not pretend that politicians aren’t supposed to look out for their constituencies. With the good ones, that’s all they’re supposed to do.

  58. anjin-san says:

    That earlier, one-time comment by Mitch McConnell

    That “one-time” comment has been followed by a whole lot of action which has proved that this is, in fact, the GOP agenda. Regardless, if the entirely manufactured debt ceiling crisis and subsequent entirely avoidable credit downgrade did not get you attention, it is doubtful anything will.

  59. anjin-san says:

    Mainly because Obama’s “interviews” have been carefully stage managed

    Compared to GW “The boy in the bubble” Bush, Obama does a reasonably good job of being out there. Or have you forgotten “free speech zones”, and the endless “break out the knee pads Sean” interviews with Hannity on Fox?

  60. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    Matthew Continetti aptly discribes Obama’s Ohio’s speech as his pity party. It gives credence to those who say this is why he brought out his immigration decree, the next day, as a means to salvage his declining ability to convince people why they should vote him in for a second term.

    I think you meant, “in a typically partisan manner, Matthew Continetti aptly predictably describes Obama’s Ohio’s speech as ….”

  61. Rick Almeida says:

    Edit: issue addressed in previous comment.

  62. jan says:

    Directly from the mouth of the dastardly reporter, whose timing on the President’s conclusion to his speech was way off.

    Video of Neil Munro explaining his exchange with President Obama in the Rose Garden

  63. Folderol & Ephemera says:

    This has not been OTB’s finest hour.

  64. Explain please

  65. MBunge says:

    I would like to point out that the White House Press Corps some people are defending as vital to our politics has never, never, never, never, NEVER done or written or said anything about the coverage of the White House happening in their midst by Fox News. There’s a Fox News reporter right there and, by all evidence, they treat him and his network like they were no different from any other supposed institution of journalism. And the few times when a dispute between the White House and Fox News has broken out, the rest of the Press Corps has rallied to the side of their alleged comrade. So, spare me any bellyaching about this President not playing pattycake with them enough.

    Mike

  66. Scott O. says:

    Jan, Here’s a fair and balanced pundit I’ve never heard of before who offers some very well thought out commentary on Mr. Munro