It’s amusing in the same lurid way that crappy reality shows are, like Ice Road Truckers or Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. Or, my favorite, Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, in which a chubby, bald metrosexual in loud pastels travels the world eating disgusting things like slugs, meal worms, or bull balls (the latter seems to be a particular favorite of his, and he invariably pronounces them to be either ‘gamey’ or ‘elegant.’)
Today Matt Drudge unearthed a shocker via Politico:
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.…
Reporters typically don’t coordinate their questions for the president before press conferences, so it seemed odd that Obama might have an idea what the question would be. Also, it was a departure from White House protocol by calling on The Huffington Post second, in between the AP and Reuters.
CBS Radio's Mark Knoller, a veteran White House correspondent, said over Twitter it was “very unusual that Obama called on Huffington Post second, appearing to know the issue the reporter would ask about.”
Who ever heard of a staged press conference before? It’ s an outrage. This goes against every American political tradition. And don’t think The People haven’t noticed. Here’s a sampling of the comments:
Wow..Obama staging a question at a news conference...Say it ain’t so! Everything this buffoon does is staged and choreographed. He dances around things better than Fred Astair.
Of course the whole thing was staged, just like Obama’s town meetings, completely with fake questions and pre-scripted answers. He learned this scam from Bill Clinton. The only way Obama looks good answering questions is when the answers have been cleverly devised by someone else and memorized beforehand.
Wouldn’t you know it, the whole nefarious process can be traced back to Bill Clinton, that wicked serpent who got us all kicked out of Eden.
But wait a second. If memory serves, I seem to recall this exchange not so many years ago:
W: The risk of doing nothing, the risk of hoping that Saddam Hussein changes his mind and becomes a gentle soul, the risk that somehow — that inaction will make the world safer, is a risk I'm not willing to take for the American people.
We'll be there in a minute. King, John King. This is a scripted — (laughter.)
Q Thank you, Mr. President. How would — sir, how would you answer your critics who say that they think this is somehow personal?
Here’s how that press conference was described by one of Bush’s own propaganda ministers:
In the Washington Post, White House Communications director, Dan Bartlett, revealed that the White House knew of the questions in advance:
“[T]his White House uses news conferences more sparingly than other types of presidential events, because if you have a message you’re trying to deliver, a news conference can go in a different direction.”
“In this case, we know what the questions are going to be, and those are the ones we want to answer,” Bartlett said. “We think the public will see the thought and care and attention he’s given to a lot of the different questions that are being asked about the diplomatic side and the military side and the potential post-Iraq issue. These are all legitimate questions that he has answers for and wants to talk about.”
Whoopsie Daisy! Nice try, Drudge. Just keep throwing shit against the wall.