I can’t hear you all over the foofaraw of Hope and Change!

From the Wall Street Journal this morning,

About half-way through President Obama’s press conference Monday night, he had an unscripted question of his own. “All, Chuck Todd,” the President said, referring to NBC’s White House correspondent. “Where’s Chuck?” He had the same strange question about Fox News’s Major Garrett: “Where’s Major?”

The problem wasn’t the lighting in the East Room. The President was running down a list of reporters preselected to ask questions. The White House had decided in advance who would be allowed to question the President and who was left out.

Presidents are free to conduct press conferences however they like, but the decision to preselect questioners is an odd one, especially for a White House famously pledged to openness. We doubt that President Bush, who was notorious for being parsimonious with follow-ups, would have gotten away with prescreening his interlocutors. Mr. Obama can more than handle his own, so our guess is that this is an attempt to discipline reporters who aren’t White House favorites.

Few accounts of Monday night’s event even mentioned the curious fact that the White House had picked its speakers in advance. We hope that omission wasn’t out of fear of being left off the list the next time.

One wonders why President Bush, or as a matter of fact why Prime Minister Stephen Harper were unable to get away with “prescreening” reporters, making them sign up for a list, and running their own press conferences.

Our intrepid Washington reporters, some of which recently held tenure in our own Parliamentary Press Gallery holding the Prime Minister to a higher standard, will surely get to the bottom of this kid-glove treatment of President Obama.

Comments

comments

  • Alberta Girl

    Ah yes – hypocrisy at it's finest. I shall be waiting for the reporters to be “investigating”

  • Liz J

    Only on CBC. Pitiful.

    Hope. Change. The Reckoning.

  • Ronald

    MSM believes they are the anointed ones – Just ask them!

  • MaryT

    Isn't that why the PPG in Canada staged a revolt against the PM, preselected questioners, or getting a name on a list. Seems like O is following PMSH in more ways than one. And the lib media want it the other way around.
    His press conference did not go over so well. If Pres Bush had done this they would still be writing stories about it. Hypocrisy, thy name is Obama

  • Bec

    If everything around Obama becomes a staged facade, as some have speculated, then how long before one of those “DISSed” reporters, turn on him?
    As we see in this country, the MSM, needs to get the story so that THEY ARE the story.
    It is a huge ego thing and may get intriquing.

  • jen

    Seems like O is following PMSH in more ways than one-
    SO TRUE.-SO TRUE -which irks the MSM of canada.
    Who wants to tackle with three opposition parties who have no regards for their country endangering our country for the sake of terrorist groups. Who in their right mind would want to do business with them.-surely not OBAMA who in fact is getting rid of terrorists from his country-not welcoming them like those morons in the opposition parties in canada.

  • DaveCF

    If Stephen Harper controls the questions at a press conference, it is 'gagging the press'. If Barack Obama does it, it is wise use of the president's limited available time. Tut, tut, can't you see the difference?</sarc off>

  • Babylonian

    What I would love is for Obama to “dis” Jack, Igg and Gilles, as they attempt some hooting and hollering over Omar Khadr. It would be great.

  • Babylonian

    What I would love is for Obama to “dis” Jack, Igg and Gilles, as they attempt some hooting and hollering over Omar Khadr. It would be great.

  • Babylonian

    What I would love is for Obama to “dis” Jack, Igg and Gilles, as they attempt some hooting and hollering over Omar Khadr. It would be great.

  • Gabby in QC

    No, MaryT, “hypocrisy, thy name is the media” IMO.

    Mr. Obama did not ask to be venerated and idolized, akin to the second coming. That was done by the sycophants in the media who “felt a tingle” going up their leg every time they laid eyes upon Obama. Had they felt that tingle and kept it to themselves … well, that would have been their business. But to be so overtly pro Obama, forgetting any semblance of impartiality, that's where they betrayed whatever journalistic ethics they've ever laid claim to.

    And that goes double for Canadian intrepid reporters, pundits, columnists, as well as all those MPs, like Jack Layton, who are going weak in the knees fantasizing about meeting O-BA-MA! They're behaving like a bunch of teeny boppers at a teen idol's concert.

    Come down to earth. He puts on his pants one leg at a time just like any other man, folks.

  • mecheng

    Obama is a Harper clone!

    Harper is a Bush clone.

    Obama = Bush

  • mecheng

    Obama is a Harper clone!

    Harper is a Bush clone.

    Obama = Bush

  • mecheng

    Obama is a Harper clone!

    Harper is a Bush clone.

    Obama = Bush

  • jckirlan

    After seeing that video, I can only hope that embarrasement and shame is a world still used in the youth dictionary, because I know they will learn the word socailism soon. Do they even know what they are cheering about?

  • jckirlan

    After seeing that video, I can only hope that embarrasement and shame is a world still used in the youth dictionary, because I know they will learn the word socailism soon. Do they even know what they are cheering about?

  • jckirlan

    After seeing that video, I can only hope that embarrasement and shame is a world still used in the youth dictionary, because I know they will learn the word socailism soon. Do they even know what they are cheering about?

  • jen

    Obama supports George W. Bush in continuing keeping american troops in Afghanistan.
    Obama like George W. BUSH ,continue to protect their people and united states from terrorists.
    Obama like Prime Minister Stephen has brought in an ACCOUNTABILITY ACT BILL.
    Obama admires the prime minister of canada.
    Obama has learned that the conservative government of canada have a better relationship with the american presidents than with the liberal party of canada.
    Obama is trying to be HARPER LIKE.

    Obama’s MSM UNLIKE THE PRIME MINISTER WHO does not have a MSM to his name will protect OBAMA but will foreign reporters do the same-not likely.
    Obama like the prime minister of canada love their country and do not support terrorist groups nor will OBama make the mistake of wrapping himself in a HEZBOLLAH FLAG.
    THE LIBERALS NDP AND BLOC cry out for terrorists to come into canada whereas OBAMA wants terrorists OUT OF UNITED STATES.
    The one MSM Obama cannot fool around with is Fox MSM,

  • jen

    Obama supports George W. Bush in continuing keeping american troops in Afghanistan.
    Obama like George W. BUSH ,continue to protect their people and united states from terrorists.
    Obama like Prime Minister Stephen has brought in an ACCOUNTABILITY ACT BILL.
    Obama admires the prime minister of canada.
    Obama has learned that the conservative government of canada have a better relationship with the american presidents than with the liberal party of canada.
    Obama is trying to be HARPER LIKE.

    Obama’s MSM UNLIKE THE PRIME MINISTER WHO does not have a MSM to his name will protect OBAMA but will foreign reporters do the same-not likely.
    Obama like the prime minister of canada love their country and do not support terrorist groups nor will OBama make the mistake of wrapping himself in a HEZBOLLAH FLAG.
    THE LIBERALS NDP AND BLOC cry out for terrorists to come into canada whereas OBAMA wants terrorists OUT OF UNITED STATES.
    The one MSM Obama cannot fool around with is Fox MSM,

  • jen

    Obama supports George W. Bush in continuing keeping american troops in Afghanistan.
    Obama like George W. BUSH ,continue to protect their people and united states from terrorists.
    Obama like Prime Minister Stephen has brought in an ACCOUNTABILITY ACT BILL.
    Obama admires the prime minister of canada.
    Obama has learned that the conservative government of canada have a better relationship with the american presidents than with the liberal party of canada.
    Obama is trying to be HARPER LIKE.

    Obama’s MSM UNLIKE THE PRIME MINISTER WHO does not have a MSM to his name will protect OBAMA but will foreign reporters do the same-not likely.
    Obama like the prime minister of canada love their country and do not support terrorist groups nor will OBama make the mistake of wrapping himself in a HEZBOLLAH FLAG.
    THE LIBERALS NDP AND BLOC cry out for terrorists to come into canada whereas OBAMA wants terrorists OUT OF UNITED STATES.
    The one MSM Obama cannot fool around with is Fox MSM,

  • jad

    So when the Prime Minister and the President hold their normal joint presser after their meeting, are the PPG going to submit to being “pre-screened” ?

  • Jon

    Paul Hunter is a Liberal shill no doubt, but in this instance what was he supposed to do? Keep a straight, objective look and say to the crowd, “I’m a reporter, I can’t be seen to take sides, so step back from me!”? That said, I wonder how many of those people celebrating actually know of Obama’s policies… very little I reckon.

  • Jon

    Paul Hunter is a Liberal shill no doubt, but in this instance what was he supposed to do? Keep a straight, objective look and say to the crowd, “I’m a reporter, I can’t be seen to take sides, so step back from me!”? That said, I wonder how many of those people celebrating actually know of Obama’s policies… very little I reckon.

  • Jon

    Paul Hunter is a Liberal shill no doubt, but in this instance what was he supposed to do? Keep a straight, objective look and say to the crowd, “I’m a reporter, I can’t be seen to take sides, so step back from me!”? That said, I wonder how many of those people celebrating actually know of Obama’s policies… very little I reckon.

  • Gabby in QC

    They'll probably clamour to be on the list, so that they'll get to ask a really important question of Obama, like “Have you finalized your decision on what kind of dog to adopt?” and “Who will walk the dog, and who will wield the pooper-scooper?” Now, that's investigative journalism!

    And if the presser is held in the Press Gallery conference room, where journos get to sit, will they stand when the two leaders enter?
    mpletely, keeping to his list. I also noticed the predominance of women reporters on his list.

  • Anonymous

    Stephen, You would do anything to take your mind off Harper’s numbers going south and soon to reach the south pole!!! You and Bourque…an obvious duo!!!

    Nice try.

  • Anonymous

    Stephen, You would do anything to take your mind off Harper’s numbers going south and soon to reach the south pole!!! You and Bourque…an obvious duo!!!

    Nice try.

  • Anonymous

    Stephen, You would do anything to take your mind off Harper’s numbers going south and soon to reach the south pole!!! You and Bourque…an obvious duo!!!

    Nice try.

  • terry1

    Typical tirade when things don't go the way harper and gang designed them. You and bourque must be buddies.

  • Gabby in QC

    Oops! Part of a sentence I intended to delete strayed into my comment … so here’s the entire sentence, for your “delectation” (as commenter Vitruvius says over st SDA).

    Some reporters not on the list shouted out their questions at times, but Pres. Obama ignored them completely, keeping to his list. I also noticed the predominance of women reporters on his list.

  • Gabby in QC

    Oops! Part of a sentence I intended to delete strayed into my comment … so here’s the entire sentence, for your “delectation” (as commenter Vitruvius says over st SDA).

    Some reporters not on the list shouted out their questions at times, but Pres. Obama ignored them completely, keeping to his list. I also noticed the predominance of women reporters on his list.

  • Gabby in QC

    Oops! Part of a sentence I intended to delete strayed into my comment … so here’s the entire sentence, for your “delectation” (as commenter Vitruvius says over st SDA).

    Some reporters not on the list shouted out their questions at times, but Pres. Obama ignored them completely, keeping to his list. I also noticed the predominance of women reporters on his list.

  • poeg

    Those that made him the messiah during the campaign and sold him to the MTV Realworld crowd will always fall in line. I'd bet you all that Mr President could pull a Great Carsoni, hold picking the “reporter” until after he's given his answer and be right about the question every single time. From where I sit this next “Great American Thinker” is just one part Johnny Carson and one part Vince from the Sham-WOW commercials. He'll get them to buy a “Pet Rock” and get them to swing at another on the pitch “Real Americans wouldn't want the first one to get lonely!”

  • VanIslander

    Typical response from a leftie who if it were not for double standards would not have any.

  • terry1

    vanIslander…. not everyone who thinks Harper needs to go is a leftie. There are progressives who have tired of his poor economic performance and his extremely poor performance in November. But as a typical angry righty you wouldn't have noticed.

  • Gabby in QC

    “Typical tirade when things don't go the way harper and gang designed them.”
    What did “harper and gang” design?

    Are you implying that PM Harper “designed” Pres. Obama's press conference, which is the topic of this thread?

    Or are you saying that PM Harper “designed” that silly performance by Paul Hunter, the secondary topic of this thread?

    Yes!!! Harper the omnipotent! That must be it. His control extends to who gets on Pres. Obama's list.

  • terry1

    Gabby in QC——-I don't know hw you could think I said or implied Harper could have designed Obamas speech.

    I, in reality, said the tories are whiners when things don't unfold the way they view the world

  • Gabby in QC

    Well, Terry1, all you needed to do was say “the tories are whiners when things don't unfold the way they view the world.”

    You see, your original statement “Typical tirade when things don't go the way harper and gang designed them” left much to the imagination.

    But then, I should have seen that as Lib-speak: say one thing, mean another, and if someone asks, give a third usually ambiguous interpretation.

  • terry1

    Gabby, You mean its a “Harperism”. Say one thing and do another or simply lie about anything at any time its convenient.

    Libs are not like nor are true progressives.

  • Gabby in QC

    “Say one thing and do another …”
    You mean like … vote for the budget but criticize it and hold it up in committee?

    “Libs are not like nor are true progressives.”
    Aha! the truth is out.

  • terry1

    Gabby,

    My rush to ge that out omitted some words and it should have read…” libs are not like harperites and are true progressives”.

    The naoos poll out today gives me great hope that Iggy is on his way to being the next PM after Harper fails his report card. Imagine the government being held hostage to a report card. How desperate they are.

  • poeg

    No more whiners than anyone I ever met in a union, anyone I ever met in a “save the…” organization or for that matter anyone I ever met who thought they “deserved” something. If you are going to call one then you certainly have to call them all and if you start now that list of whiners might be done before your great grand children retire… maybe. Anyone who has been to Europe and headed off the beaten path to the rest of Paris or Munich has seen first hand how much of a drop in the Canadian standard of living greater Socialism would cost. You want to pay for it, go right ahead but don't be whining about the results when things don't go your way. As for me, I'm keeping my hard earned money and no I don't believe anyone “deserves” my earnings nor I theirs.

    All we can ever hope for in a government is less corruption than the previous one. If we adopted the notion of “hand in the cookie jar = lose the hand” we would see “change you can believe in” right here in Canada. Until then its going to be gigo as usual. Also please no more about President Obama. He's a rank amateur fumbling away in the dark when compared to our own Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

  • terry1

    We are close to being a socialist country now but I don't see where I've said that is what the liberal party should be. I love how you angry right wing Tories get carried away with things Liberal. If George Bush is your hero then we understand your positions better.

  • terry1

    More tory sleaze with the Cadman scandal:
    CAMPBELL CLARK

    Globe and Mail Update

    February 13, 2009 at 2:14 PM EST

    OTTAWA — The Conservatives are repeating allegations that a B.C. journalist doctored a tape of Stephen Harper talking about the Cadman affair – but only in places where they are protected from lawsuits.

    MP Pierre Poilievre, the parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister, slipped out of the Commons by the back door this morning rather than take up the NDP's challenge that he repeat the claims outside the chamber. MPs cannot be sued for what they say in the Commons, but outside the door of the House, they have no special protection.

  • Omanator

    terry 1. Arent you forgetting something, I remember I guy who promised to do away with
    the salestax and then never did. I wonder if Mr. Iggy will reintroduce it. what I don't understand is that you lefties don't see the handwriting on the Wall. Obama will be the
    worst President ever. His economics are totally insane. The histeria about ” change” is gone and we have the same old same. ( Pork ) His has dumped more debt on the American Public. They will rue they day they voted for him. No because is not a nice man
    well spoken and the first black President, that is all very wonderful, but he has not got what it takes. It is beginning to show.

  • Omanator

    terry1 No wonder you don't get anywhere. No new “scandals” I would have thought there are more important
    things on the agenda, then dead people. Of course we could instead talk about Canada's Sergeant Schulz : I know nothing, I see nothing I hear nothing ” Chretien. and the 40 million stolen from the taxpayers by the Liberals.

  • Omanator

    Terry 1.
    Canada is already Socialist? Who made is that way? Successive Liberal Governements in particular Trudeau and Chretien.

  • Omanator

    jckirlan.
    Not yet, but soon. The next 6 generaltion of unborn Americans will have to pay for the insaneties of Bush and Obama.

  • terry1

    omanator…the wrost president ever just left office and he was a right wing brother of Harper……..get it?

  • terry1

    You don't think Mulroney was a wannabe socialist?.