Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The media and its questions

Following on the press conference last night it is interesting to reflect on how the media handled the little outing.

The NYT...

The president was "not...fiery and inspirational," write Peter Baker and Adam Nagourney in the morning NYT. "Placid and unsmiling, he was the professor in chief, offering familiar arguments in long paragraphs -- often introduced with the phrase, 'as I said before' -- sounding like the teacher speaking in the stillness of a classroom where students are restlessly waiting for the ring of the bell.

"This was Mr. Obama as more enervating than energizing."

In one Baker-Nagourney sentence, even a compliment is only a prologue to a dig that, come to think of it, might help explain why they're so petulant:
He showed his usual comfort with a wide array of subjects, even as he
excluded the nation's big newspapers from the questioning in favor of a more
eclectic mix.

My italics but their pique. Take that, Barack Obama, you pompous pedagogue, stringing together whole sentences and indeed paragraphs as if Americans were entitled to hear a line of reasoning. Take that if you dare to exclude "the nation's big newspapers" even as they prove less big every day.

FOX's Brett Baier's first impression of President Obama's National Press Conference after telling us how long it was and how many questions he took was to cut to a shot of the massive screen in the back and middle of the room and he said that Obama read his opening statement there. Wow. Did the media focus on President Bush's use of the teleprompter, ever?

Critics say Obama relies too heavily on his teleprompter. As Politico notes:

"Obama's reliance on the teleprompter is unusual -- not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small."
They make an interesting point, why would a president want to be prepared and careful about what he says? The guy who had the job for the last eight years didn't need no stinkin' teleprompter!
Charles K thought Obama was workmanlike.

As usual BillO had on Karl Rove for some crackling FOX News analysis, even though he's one of the men responsible for the mess this country faces. He said President Obama just mailed it in.

Bill, as I predicted, was just so bored by it all. Karl said he was an arrogant guy...

Chuck Todd Apparently Thinks Americans Haven't Suffered Enough

Here is what I thought was one of the more infuriating moments of last night's press conference. Chuck Todd with this doozie:
Todd: Some have compared this financial crisis to a war and in times of war past Presidents have called for some form of sacrifice. Some of your programs whether main street or Wall Street have actually cushioned the blow for those that were irresponsible during this economic period of prosperity, supposed prosperity that you were talking about. Why, given this new era of responsibility that you're asking for why haven't you asked for something specific that the public should be sacrificing to participate in this economic recovery?
Really, Chuck Todd? You're joking, right? If you had asked what he should have asked Wall Street to sacrifice, that would have been one thing. But the public? Unbelievable.


Probably the funniest and saddest moment from the press conference last night: President Obama's response to Ed Henry's 'gotcha' question.
Henry: Why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage? It seems like the action is coming out of New York and the Attorney General's office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say look we're outraged. Why did it....

Obama: Look it took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak. Alright?
Apparently Henry wasn't satisfied when he didn't respond to the question the first time around. ...
Alex Castellanos: Tonight You Saw the First Hint of a President Who Could Be a One Termer

Yes, a right wing hack who hasn't seen too low a blow yet against an opponent thinks the president looks testy.

First the President was too serious on the economy, then the media screams he is too glib for cracking a single joke. He is too cool to some, now that he didn't care for frivolous questions he's loosing it.

No comments: