Obama threw the White House press corps a bone on Monday by appearing for 20 some minutes and taking a grand total of four questions from those members of the Old Media whose official job is to report from the White House.
The President has taken about six serious questions from the press since June. But this doesn’t mean he’s taken no other questions from the press. Unfortunately, the questions he has taken have not been from a free and open press but have been pre-programmed.
While ducking the supposed serious reporters in the clubby WH press corps, Obama has been on a whirlwind tour of morning zoo radio shows, entertainment media like Entertainment Tonight, and has allowed puffball interviews from down-the-line, local media outlets where he is sure no serious questions will be asked.
Why is he sure he’ll face no serious questions? Because he has forced each and every one of these “interviewers” to stick to pre-approved questions that he wrote for them himself. Worse, those puffballers aren’t even trying to pretend that they are conducting serious interviews, fully admitting that the White House programmed their face time with the President.
The reporters mostly made no effort to hide the arrangement. “The president invited me to talk about sequestration,” NBC 7 San Diego’s reporter told her audience. In the interview, she set Obama up with a perfectly pitched softball the president couldn’t have been more eager to take a swing at:
“What do you want individual San Diegans to know about sequestration?” she asked.
Donna Deegan of FCN Jacksonville initially seemed to apologize for not broaching the appointed subject right away.
“Mr. President, I know we were asked to talk about sequestration today,” she said, but then added she wanted to talk about something else first. Finally, she got to it:
“Let’s talk a little bit about sequestration, because I know that’s why you invited us here,” she said.
Obama used an interview with WVEC Norfolk to specifically bash Republicans.
…The reporters were able to ask about other topics. But with their face time with the president limited to under ten minutes, and Obama well rehearsed to discuss at length his favored topic, there was little room for much else to come up.
Is this the sort of thing we want from our President? Canned interviews where “the press” is constrained to politically approved talking points? Is this the America we want or is this more like the sort of Big Brotherism that we get in apocalyptic movie scripts or sci fi novels?
How long will this lapdog media allow Obama to program them?