Patterico's Pontifications

6/23/2009

Politico: Obama White House Solicited HuffPo Iran Question

Filed under: Media Bias,Obama — DRJ @ 2:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This Politico report indicates how the Obama Administration is using the media to handle its Iran problem:

“In what appeared to be a coordinated exchange, President Obama called on the Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney near the start of his press conference and requested a question directly about Iran.”
***
UPDATE 2: [CBS Radio's Mark Knoller, a veteran White House correspondent], again via Twitter: “Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney says the WH called him this morning and invited him to ask his Iran questions at the news conference.”

Read the link to see what Politico means by a “coordinated exchange”: Obama’s invitation and the initial part of Pitney’s question appear scripted.

– DRJ

85 Responses to “Politico: Obama White House Solicited HuffPo Iran Question”

  1. Why don’t they both just can the pretense already, and have the reporters sit on Obama’s lap and parrot whatever he wishes to come out of their mouths – sheesh!

    Dmac (f7884d)

  2. Given his acting abilities thus far (why those “off script” moments are so jarring), I’d expect Obama to have played it off better. Why in the world, when he called on Pitney, did he tell everyone that he expected an Iran question?

    The question itself seemed legit, making this pretty much of an own goal.

    tim maguire (4a98f0)

  3. Recall the outrage at the implication that George W. Bush was planting questions.

    SPQR (72771e)

  4. Given his acting abilities thus far (why those “off script” moments are so jarring), I’d expect Obama to have played it off better.

    I expect the TOTUS was in for a tuneup. He’s lost without TOTUS. He does not do spontaneous.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  5. Another Update: Now the meme is that the Obama White House ‘reached out’ to Nico Pitney about his Iran coverage.

    Ahh yes – ‘reached out’ sounds so friendly, so, well, nice, whereas ‘coordinated’ makes the planting of a question with a reporter prior to a press conference seem so phony and contrived.

    The White House rigging the questions put to it by the press clearly demonstrates that they know they’ve been weak and have absolutely no confidence in their actions.

    Hence the propaganda.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  6. Magnificent use of media to reach into the Iranian blogosphere. Brings to mind George H.W. Bush’s wise use of CNN in its better days during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Dubya’s media plants were just policy pushing hacks. And in the case of Armstrong Williams, bought and paid for.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  7. If any of you had the curiosity of peeking into the HuffPo since election day in Iran (maybe even before the election, I’m not quite sure) you’d know that Nico has been feverishly blogging about all info he can get directly from Iranians and he’s been doing a magnificent job in keeping us informed. The link to his blog is the top lead of the site since then, non-stop.

    On top of that, in the last few days he’s been asking the Iranians to suggest questions to ask Obama in the press conference if Obama happened to pick him. Obviously someone in the WH noticed this and, who knows, probably Obama himself asked to bring him into the press conference.

    oderfla (22a589)

  8. Pfft
    Yesterday Nico had that up front page at Huff-po, that he had solicited questions from Iranians and if he was called on he would ask one.
    I betcha there is someone on Obama’s staff that reads Huff-po EVERYDAY.
    What a concept.
    I found out what Palin is doing! Cramming for her next press conference!

    Palin to self:
    Eye-ran: that’s the one that John wants to “bomb bomb bomb” but only after we declare solidarity with the brave muslin terrists who yearn for American democracy.
    Eye-rack: that’s the one we already bombed in solidarity with the brave muslin terrists who yearn for American democracy.
    OK, I’m ready for my press conference!

    Props to Allan @ Balloon-juice
    lol

    wheeler's cat (0cf7e1)

  9. The hypocrisy just drips off the trolls.

    SPQR (72771e)

  10. As usual, you miss the point spectacularly, Wheeler, he spoke pretty much as if he had been annoyed to be taken from his waffle cone. He missed the point to focus on women’s rights, or democracy or anything that didn’t concern him.

    narciso (996c34)

  11. Nothing about this is brilliant. The Obama White House was caught rigging press questions.

    The twisted cult minds are laughable. Again:

    Obama can’t speak strongly because that would be used to suppress the demonstrators.

    Until, of course, Obama chooses to speak up. Then, apparently, it’s okay, even though the situation at that point is more dire for the demonstrators than ever before. The suppression hasn’t subsided, and the use of suppressive tactics is still viable, but for some reason the use of Presidential statements by the suppressive regime is no longer a factor.

    Hey, here’s an idea – let’s let the President of the United States take questions directly from Iranian demonstrators at a White House press conference.

    Of course that couldn’t be construed as ‘meddling’.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  12. Remember the months of OUTRAGE about Gannon and the GAY POR COCK OF LIES !!!

    JD (506f9c)

  13. The trolls are going to have a harder and harder time explaining Zero if that July 4 wiener roast comes off. Of course, they won’t notice. Leftists have a hearing loss; they only hear from the left.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  14. You can count on one thing … Nishi will try to tie her hatred of Palin into any topic. It is her Tourrette’s. And it shows how much she wants to distract from the topic.

    See ; JD’s 2nd Restatement of his 1st Rule of Trolls.

    JD (506f9c)

  15. “I betcha there is someone on Obama’s staff that reads Huff-po EVERYDAY.”

    No doubt. Obama’s staffers also probably read “Das Kapital” every day.

    Dave Surls (0a3f1e)

  16. Well, its a good thing that the Iranians are not doing anything that would offend Obama … like holding terrorists in a state of the art prison camp.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Even if it was coordinated ahead of time, it was a good question that Obama fielded poorly. Coupled with his semi-angry response to Major Garret, who has now probably been banished to a broom closet, it was a pitiful showing by Obama on Iran. Obama’s claim that he has been consistent in his messaging on the subject is as laughable as when he used those same words during his campaign, there were a sure sign he was lying.

    What a clueless scared shitless dork.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  18. What state does wheeler’s cat govern again?

    carlitos (84409d)

  19. Mmmm, carlitos, I think that would be “mentally unbalanced” state. Kind of like the Abby Normal business in “Young Frankenstein.”

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  20. I was going to suggest “altered state,” but that’s abundantly self – evident.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  21. Can the Obama cultists on here respond with anything other than “but Buuuuuuuushhhhhhhhhhh”? Seriously they are arguing with the cartoons that are on 24 hour rerun in their own mind.

    Mr. Pink (b0e177)

  22. A short-term strategic plus for Obama, but probably a long-term failure.

    Emanuel and Axelrod know for now that most the media will take this incident with only some grumbling, and then go back to doing what they’ve been doing for the past 20-plus months for Barack. But the media also wants their ego stroked — they want to think this is a partnership between them and the Obama Administration, and that they can be trusted to help the president out in the right places and with the right questions.

    To bump an advocacy journalist to the top of the line, and to elevate another reporter ahead of other questioners also because the president knows the question ahead of time is a blow to their egos. And while it’s not going to suddenly turn those reporters into Sean Hannity, it could actually start causing Barack problems on the left if those same miffed press people go after him for not fulfilling the promises they hoped he’d follow through on (something he’s already been tweaked about by Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher, but not by the more liberal members of the White House press corps, who might think the HuffPo is just ducky, but don’t think their reporter has earned the right to be the third questioner at Obama’s press conference).

    John (692c5c)

  23. This is eerily reminding me of the Clinton years where everything that was negative about the guy was a “smear” they would say was false and defend to the death. Then if the “smear” was proven true, they would pivot on a dime and say “well all politicians do it”. I guess they are skipping straight to step 2 now.

    Mr. Pink (b0e177)

  24. “You can count on one thing … Nishi will try to tie her hatred of Palin into any topic.”

    JD – C’mon, you know it’s really fear masked as hatred. Palin scares the pee out of these irrational progressive fembots.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  25. WHAT ABOUT THE GAY PORN COCK OF LIES !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    JD (1762b4)

  26. “Why in the world, when he called on Pitney, did he tell everyone that he expected an Iran question? ”

    Because the point was for the guy to bring one from Iran.

    imdw (4503b6)

  27. “To bump an advocacy journalist to the top of the line, and to elevate another reporter ahead of other questioners also because the president knows the question ahead of time is a blow to their egos”

    Why do people think he knew the question?

    imdw (eb5474)

  28. Lol, Palin is so over.
    The GOP screwed her like a two dollar whore and now they are frantically trying to scrape her off their shoes before the next election.

    wheeler's cat (0cf7e1)

  29. There goes that Sufi-inspired, Muslim approved feminism. You go, grrrrl!

    You are just another alphabetist.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  30. Lol, Palin is so over.
    The GOP screwed her like a two dollar whore and now they are frantically trying to scrape her off their shoes before the next election.

    So what does this have to do with Obama planting questions?

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (bcc87c)

  31. Of course, all this and the TOTUS had no coherent answer for the question posed.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  32. was for the guy to bring one from Iran.

    Nice grammar there, Webster.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  33. @SPQR

    Great zinger. Obama deserves this kind of ridicule.

    Terry Gain (6b2a64)

  34. I was referring to this, which is worth repeating.

    Well, its a good thing that the Iranians are not doing anything that would offend Obama … like holding terrorists in a state of the art prison camp.Comment by SPQR — 6/23/2009 @ 4:26 pm

    Terry Gain (6b2a64)

  35. You want to talk about a coordinated exchange in a White House presser?
    How about that gay-porn, male-hooker hard-throb Jeff Gannon who got credentialed and CALLED ON by, um, Bush, EVEN BEFORE Gannon got the fig-leaf cover of a title with Talon News.
    Talon News? Press the stoppers. Lookit their Pulitzers on the shelf.
    Maybe Bush just really, really, was affectionate toward Gannon, who lobbed, um, soft balls (ooooooooh) and who should not ever have passed the security gates at the White House, much less been a player in a presser.
    Except the Bush handlers wanted him there to, in a manner of speaking, commandingly stroke the chief.
    Coordinated?
    You guys in this tiny room are intellectually spastic.

    Larry Reilly (45e7a4)

  36. Sheesh, Larry, you really are clueless.

    Thanks, Terry, but note my later comment. Obama really could not come up with a coherent response to the question he was asked. All this nonsense from the Obama trolls in this thread about how great he was that he took the question, but no defense of his incoherent, insubstantial response. I guess the second-string teleprompter was on duty.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. Larry – See JD’s 4:10 and 5:19.

    As for Bush, I thought he was one of those nasty conservatives that hated the gays? Maybe not this week.

    Oh, and speaking of People No Longer President Used As A Distraction From The Current Policies Of The Obama Administration (PNLPUAADFTCPOTOA), what about that fucking Millard Fillmore’s policies that gave us the Compromise Movement?

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  38. L.R.,

    Didn’t you get the memo…The Obamster even said it “I won…”

    Defend the buffoon you elected, not the man he replaced (who, by the way, he wasn’t running against…)

    You elected a certifiable moron who can’t talk without someone’s hand up his rump to move his lips, and even with THAT was a miserable failure on a setup question!

    Jeez, drag yourself into the present and get in the game…

    MJN1957 (6e1275)

  39. Can we start referring to it as the PuffHo now?

    The Dana who likes to wix up mords (474dfc)

  40. Nishi will try to tie her hatred of Palin into any topic.

    Meanwhile, the amazing idiocy that oozes out of Democrats like Joe Biden (oh, the vice president, no less—the doofus who, should the guy in the Oval Office become indefinitely or permanently indisposed, is waiting in the wings) goes on and on and on.

    Mark (411533)

  41. #11- As opposed to Cheney commenting on a NYT story his own people leaked. Right. Perhaps WH reporters these days cash their checks at the same bank Armstrong Williams did.

    It was more than magnficent. Perfectly pitched.

    Oh yes, BTW “We won.”

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  42. The trolls are way beyond their normal incoherence. At least Armstrong Williams was smart enough to get paid for it. The MSM is lining up for Teh One, volunteering to do it for free. No wonder they are in the media, because they obviously know jack shit about business.

    Mary Reilly – Thank you for proving my point about the GHEY PORN COCK OF LIES !!!!!!!!!

    JD (3ab713)

  43. “The GOP screwed her like a two dollar whore and now they are frantically trying to scrape her off their shoes before the next election.”

    nishi – LOL. The only people making a big deal criticizing Palin are Dems and two digit progressives like yourself.

    Get real. Sukkz to be you.

    Gro up grrl.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  44. “#11- As opposed to Cheney commenting on a NYT story his own people leaked.”

    Huh? Is Cheney still in office? Does this have anything to do with what happened today?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  45. Gay Porn! Oh, and you do it too!

    Sheesh, this crop of trolls is a lameass bunch.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  46. So what do we have here so far? “Palin ____”, “Bush ____”, “Cheney ____+ big batch of crazy noone can understand”. Way to stay on topic. I bet one of them will fit in “Iraq war of lies for oil” before comment 100.

    Mr. Pink (b0e177)

  47. Well, Mr. Pink, your prediction will be perfect if VietnamEraVet shows up. That’s his chorus.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  48. Mr. Pink – Way to stay on topic.

    And that’s the trouble with trolls. They aren’t here for any topic whatsoever.

    JD is again, correct. The relevance of each Post to President Obama’s weaknesses and failures is directly proportional to the amount of distracting cultists that invade the comments.

    It’s quickly becoming all troll, all the time, because Obama is quickly becoming all weakness and failure, all the time.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  49. Sheesh, this crop of trolls is a lameass bunch.

    You know, SPQR, it used to be fun to bat the trolls around, because they at least brought the illusion of standing on principle. Now, it is not even a challenge to eviscerate their arguments.

    Like a 6-0, 6-0 tennis match, it is simply boring.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (bcc87c)

  50. And it’s annoying as hell.

    Leviticus (20b7ac)

  51. #35, meet #21. At least if you are going to go intellectually spastic and give us the ol tired “But Bush did”

    #24 is right. Palin strikes fear and loathing in the childless careerist feministas who deep down know Palin is their better for doing career AND having a hunk hubbie AND having kids. The cognitive dissonance fries their brain.

    The Travis Monitor (cfa2f1)

  52. “The only people making a big deal criticizing Palin are Dems and two digit progressives like yourself.”

    Absolutely! Palin is doing the GOP a wonderful and great service, as a foil for the liberals rage. It keeps all the other GOP leaders under the radar for now.

    Palin is sooooo … 2012.

    The Travis Monitor (cfa2f1)

  53. More than one plant at today’s conference. This transparency is exhausting. So many calls to make and scripts to write. Exhausting, I tell you!

    And Pitney was not the only “plant” at yesterday’s [sic] news conference. Later, Obama passed over the usual suspects to call on Macarena Vidal of the Spanish-language E.F.E. news agency. The White House called Vidal in advance to see if she was coming and arranged for her to sit in a seat usually assigned to a financial trade publication. “Okay, Macarena Vidal,” Obama called out, as the regulars adopted baffled expressions. She asked about Chile and Colombia. [emphasis added]

    Dana (8d88ef)

  54. …and Obama replied smoothly, when I was at Columbia, we ate some spicy chili. Next question.

    carlitos (84409d)

  55. Companeros! Campesinos! Comrades! Citizens!

    I am almost too giddy to write. The long lonely march is nearly over. For years I have puzzled at how things work politically in the USA. Bluntly, my people did not successfully transition to American Rule and an American economy over 150 years ago in our homeland. Now I finally am beginning to see. The leadership cadre of the USA wants to sdopt a….umm, “Latin American” model of governance. There is the political elite, which parasitically draws off the commercial elite – in exchange for unfettered profits. The military exists in a separate universe , marries other military families, and generally has no close ties to the political and economic elite (or at least the political elite, who are perceived as having absolutely no honor). The current El Presidente seeks to build a cult of personality around himself (note the ubiquitous use of “I”) while entrenching his cronies in the bone marrow of government. Ah, Power! can anyone resist its’ charms?

    Californio (6657ce)

  56. Californio – You insult the U.S. with your comment.

    You know full well that “Latin America” is nowhere near as corrupt as our leadership.

    If we want advice from amateurs, we’ll send Axelrod down there on a Donkey with a digital recorder.

    Plus, your plumbing and electrical is a joke.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  57. I defy anyone to point to a better or tougher question at today’s press conference.

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  58. You guys in this tiny room are intellectually spastic.

    Comment by Larry Reilly — 6/23/2009 @ 6:30 pm

    Then why are you here ? Joining the spastics ? You define spastic.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  59. I defer – top drawer corruption gives the appearance of virtue, it never affronts – as this may awaken the rubes. I can only be disappointed by our crappy leaders. Sigh. Someday a man on horseback will parade in and lead us to our triumphant destiny – one where the left and right join hands to crush the common enemies of the Republic. [said "enemies" to be determined later....]

    First, we need really good propaganda….Oh Obama – you have such promise!

    Californio (6657ce)

  60. The leadership cadre of the USA wants to sdopt a….umm, “Latin American” model of governance.

    Perhaps that’s too vague or imprecise a characterization. To be more specific, I see portions of America switching over to a lazy, self-indulgent, uber-flaky form of liberalism (or “progressivism”), meaning a way of thinking (or emoting) as it has evolved — or devolved — over the past 80 years. The type of philosophy that generally runs rampant in Third World countries, inner-city America and effete parts of Europe.

    Now a country or community (for instance, Boston, San Francisco, Manhattan or Beverly Hills) can gravitate towards that form of governance and politics without a care in the world. But in the long run it had better hope its populace and the populace all around it is full of reliable, resourceful, talented, stable individuals. If not, watch out!

    Mark (411533)

  61. If Obama has something to say to us about Iran… he needs to just man up and freaking say it.

    He shouldn’t need to plant questions to make it look like he’s our glorious and spontenous leader. We don’t even want that. We’d much rather he have wanted to inform us of his views on Iran and even have planned it out.

    How pathetic. He was caught and that’s even more pathetic. If Obama can’t even pull of a secret like this, he needs to resign and let someone who can manage and think take over.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  62. Can we start referring to it as the PuffHo now?

    Comment by The Dana who likes to wix up mords — 6/23/2009 @ 7:06 pm

    Do. Oh, please do. I know I will. LOL

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  63. “Coordinated exchange” is odd, because his answer was still lame.

    brobin (c07c20)

  64. I realize comments on this post have strayed far from the original intent. But I think Californio has it right: “…the left and right join hands to crush the common enemies of the Republic.” Anyone can list dozens of Dems or Reps who have made bad decisions, broken the law, corrupted the system, etc. It’s not that one party or the other is bad – they both are. Slowly, citizens that were backing one party or the other are beginning to see it – and recognize that we can’t fix it by voting them (one or the other) out. We have to rid the government of all the corruption.
    It may take “…a man on horseback…”

    Corwin (ea9428)

  65. Thanks for your tries at erudition, particularly spqr.
    But the HuffPost question was so logically odd that any answer could be criticized.
    We don’t have diplomatic relations with Iran, so what does it mean to “accept” the election results?
    Someone might just as well have asked whether it is farther to Chicago by bus or in winter?
    spqr would have his criticism ready for any answer to that, I’m sure.
    You guys realize, don’t you, that if you were Iranians you’d have voted for Ahmadenijad? He is, after all, the conservative choice, the one holding the nation’s pure values.
    Now, you wanna talk about Obama evading a question and giving a bad answer? Look no further than his dismissal of Helen Thomas’ try at getting him to explain why, if Iran shouldn’t be suppressing videos (like Neda’s death) etc……..why won’t Obama release our own torture photos.

    Larry Reilly (45e7a4)

  66. 65, Larry, Why won’t Obama freely release his ORIGINAL Birth Certificate, not the meaningless Certification of Live Birth?

    PCD (02f8c1)

  67. You guys realize, don’t you, that if you were Iranians you’d have voted for Ahmadenijad?

    The brilliance ! Oh, dear leader, how shall I vote since you know my mind ?

    We really do deserve a better class of trolls. These people must be rejects from lefty blogs. They stray off topic; they lack common sense. The fact that, with advance notice, Obama couldn’t call on the plant without giving the whole thing away suggests that he really is lost without TOTUS.

    I defy anyone to point to a better or tougher question at today’s press conference.

    Comment by Bob Loblaw

    Oh dear ! I feel a belly laugh coming on.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  68. Of course Ahmadinejad is a conservative! So are Osama and Saddam. They’re exactly like Reagan!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (a4e9b7)

  69. I defy anyone to point to a better or tougher question at today’s press conference.

    I don’t know if you had an opportunity to actually hear all of the Q & A portion of the press conference, but here is a transcript of it, including all Q & A.

    Dana (8d88ef)

  70. Anybody else note that he basically said, “I’m the Decider!”
    And don’t get me started on cat or nishi or whatever she’s pretending to be this week absolute terror of Palin.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  71. Still incoherent, I see, Larry.

    SPQR (72771e)

  72. Big Brother would love Obama’s performance.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  73. #65 — Comment by Larry Reilly — 6/24/2009 @ 6:28 am

    But the HuffPost question was so logically odd that any answer could be criticized.

    The question is not the issue (do you really not know that?). Here is an explanation of the purpose of a free press in a democracy from George A. Krimsky, co-founder of the International Center for Journalists.

    We don’t have diplomatic relations with Iran, so what does it mean to “accept” the election results?

    Diplomatic relations are not required to interact with a nation. Here is an example where such interactions take place. Here is an example of how President Bush interacted with Iran, without diplomatic relations. Here is another. Accepting election results means legitimacy and contributes to the demoralization of the pro-free-elections people in Iran. Accepting the election results also implies condoning the subsequent actions of the “legitimate” government.

    Someone might just as well have asked whether it is farther to Chicago by bus or in winter?

    Meaningless.

    spqr would have his criticism ready for any answer to that, I’m sure.

    Reading people’s minds is unlikely. Perhaps you do not have any worthy arguments or counter-points that can stand-up to scrutiny.

    Pons Asinorum (b26ed0)

  74. #65 — Comment by Larry Reilly — 6/24/2009 @ 6:28 am

    You guys realize, don’t you, that if you were Iranians you’d have voted for Ahmadenijad? He is, after all, the conservative choice, the one holding the nation’s pure values.

    The “You guys” is a strawmen reference. Furthermore your premise that the Iranians can elect anyone is in dispute ( by other world leaders and most recently, even by President Obama). American Conservative philosophy is strictly tied to the principles of the Constitution which are heavily founded on the ideals of Freedom and Liberty. Ahmadenijad is the antithesis of American conservative thought. Matching the conservative poles of an entirely different nation to another (western, Judeao-Chistian, democratic versus Persian, Islamic, theocracy) is illogical and fails as a meaningful comparison.

    Stating that Ahmadenijad holds “the nation’s pure values” is insulting to
    the history and culture of the Persian people.

    Now, you wanna talk about Obama evading a question and giving a bad answer?

    Not in dispute.

    Look no further than his dismissal of Helen Thomas’ try at getting him to explain why, if Iran shouldn’t be suppressing videos (like Neda’s death) etc…why won’t Obama release our own torture photos.

    Interesting that you choose to abandon your positions and then jump to another unrelated issue that will somehow exonerate your multiple positions across at least two issues. Fascinating.

    Our troops responsible for abuse have been punished. We are at war and releasing such photos at this time would not assist any victim and would add propaganda fuel to our enemies, as stated by President Obama. This hardly compares to murder to keep a corrupt regime in power.

    Pons Asinorum (b26ed0)

  75. #67 — Comment by Mike K — 6/24/2009 @ 6:47 am

    We really do deserve a better class of trolls. These people must be rejects from lefty blogs. They stray off topic; they lack common sense.

    With this issue, it is probable that the more intelligent Obama supporter is likely to hold an unfavorable view of staging answers in this manner. Anecdotally, just looking at this thread, there is no logical or reasoned argument presented to defend the President’s action.

    What we are left to contend with are those who are willing to somehow justify President Obama’s decision to stage a portion of the press conference. Since that is not reasonable under the circumstances, their arguments must divulge from logic and reason and use other devices (strawmen, emotional appeals, unrelated arguments, unanswered questions, half-truths, quasi-insults, etc — indeed see Larry Reilly post at 6:28 am because he conveniently used all of these devices in a single posting).

    Like answering a two year-old child who might ask “why is the sky blue”, an adult can engage such a question from an accurate scientific perspective and discuss the absorption of photon wavelengths of our atmosphere, but in the end such an explanation will likely prove unworthily. There is too much of a knowledge gap that requires understanding. To fill the knowledge gap requires a certain level of maturity, intellectual openness, and desire to learn.

    That just is not possible with an adult who believes that what President Obama did is justifiable.

    Pons Asinorum (b26ed0)

  76. Excellent comments, Pons.

    just looking at this thread, there is no logical or reasoned argument presented to defend the President’s action.

    I would add, on almost all threads. Which leads to the question of whether it is ignorance, dishonesty or some combination of both that is a requirement for membership in what is arguably a cult of personality.

    The trolls, by their very behavior, fail to put forward rational or coherent arguments and draw questions as to their mental functioning. How that can be viewed as a ‘win’ by anyone is a cause for even greater concern.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  77. “I defy anyone to point to a better or tougher question at today’s press conference.”

    You defy anyone to find any of the other WH Press Corps questions to be better that the PuffHost Question? Isnt that like finding the winner of a special olympics event? (oh wait, those analogies are un-PC) …

    I think the better question would be whether there are better questions out there – Questions on GM govt takeover, firing of IGs, challenging him on spending by pointing out the cost of Govt-run taxpayer-funded health insurance, etc.

    So many missed opptys.

    Travis Monitor (9e3371)

  78. Thanks Apogee, and totally agree with your “greater concern”. Hopefully, it is just a fad like style-over-substance, or something like that. It eventually has to decay.

    Pons Asinorum (b26ed0)

  79. Don’t think for a second that most of Obama’s inverviews are staged just like this.

    And that interviews of Republicans seen as a threat to him are planned so as to make them look as bad as possible. Even cut up to portray the interview out of order. If Obama answers an ABC interview question badly, they will just cut it out. If Sarah Palin answers it well, they will consider doing the same.

    Granted, Palin screwed up a few interviews and really hasn’t impressed me, but this is a larger trend that goes back to Clinton. The press are political hacks, by and large.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  80. “I defy anyone to point to a better or tougher question at today’s press conference.”

    Mike K., Dana (thanks for the link!), & Travis Monitor all responded to the challenge…. and fail to provide any.

    Travis rightly notes that we are unfortunately drawing from an extremely shallow well; however, you go to press conference with the sadly deficient & trivial press corps you have….

    We should all be happy when good questions do get asked at press conferences.

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  81. Bob Loblaw,

    Nico’s question was good but I don’t think it was the toughest one Obama had on Iran. I vote for these:

    “All right? Major Garrett. Where’s Major?

    Q Right here, sir. In your opening remarks, sir, you were — you said about Iran that you were appalled and outraged. What took you so long to say those words?”

    And later in the press conference, these follow-up questions by a reporter identified as Chip:

    “Q By speaking so strongly today, aren’t you giving the leadership in Iran the fodder to make those arguments that it is about the United States?

    THE PRESIDENT: Look, I mean, I think that — we can parse this as much as we want. I think if you look at the statements that I’ve made, they’ve been very consistent. [***]

    Q So there’s no news in your statement today?”

    DRJ (cdbef5)

  82. Q So there’s no news in your statement today?”

    Comment by DRJ — 6/24/2009 @ 7:00 pm

    That’s gonna leave a mark.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  83. Comment by Bob Loblaw — 6/24/2009 @ 6:39 pm

    I see that DRJ answered this but I’ll add that the reason I believe the Major Garrett question was the more difficult was because a) it was unexpected, unplanned for and no answer had yet been prepared; b) it confronted the president with the a serious inference of his inability to stand firm from the get-go; and c) it put Obama in an awkward position because there had been, from both sides, indications that he needed to make a far more strident stand for than he did during that first week.

    I would also suggest that as one reads his answer to Garrett’s question, his obfuscation and evasion to answer it directly indicates it may have been the more difficult for him. The question from the Iranian obviously could have been planned ahead of time, arranged, pre-approved – who knows, what the ‘arrangement’ entailed, and therefore tailor-made so that Obama could reiterate his prior talking points on the matter. Which he did.

    Dana (8d88ef)

  84. Looking for tough questions in an Obama tongue bath, I mean press conference, is an exercise in futility. That may chnage as he appears more and more feckless and as his initiatives are defeated. I doubt his personal approval ratings will ever get below 50% because he was not elected as a usual president but as a symbol. His competence does not concern his most devoted followers, as we see here.

    My comment was how, even with a staged question, he couldn’t ask it without disclosing that it was staged. He was inept and this is a guy supposed to be an orator.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  85. DRJ,
    I generally find Chip to be the dullest of a pretty dim lot, but that was a good follow up question for him; Chip was definitely hitting above his weight on that one.

    But in general both his and Major’s questions were just variants of the “your critics say” inside politics, beltway bullshit line of questioning which is guaranteed to provide more heat than light. It becomes all about the political dance and can be telegraphed from a mile away, and is why they both got the “consistent statements” response.

    I thought the first Iran question was good as well, but Nico’s question from the Iranian was just more direct and specific.

    p.s. nice to see you back here :)

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3630 secs.