The president fielded questions tonight about his daughters, the attorney general of New York and a kooky Chinese plan for an international currency. Anything on the nitty-gritty of his trillion-dollar bank bailout? Nope.
Oh, sure, some members of the press corps alluded to the bailout when asking why Obama kept his AIG OUTRAGE secret in an evil Nixonian coverup, whether poors have suffered/"sacrificed" enough in the recession and why the country suddenly has a deficit, out of the blue.
The Associated Press even asked why voters should trust the president's financial bailout when all the other government bailouts have gone so terribly, a decent if broad question, and one that could not prompt further substantive, non-grandstanding questions.
The press' questions avoided the issue of the day, favoring more melodramatic themes, especially those from bigwig media types still allowed to ask questions amid the niche-ification of the White House press corps.
The worst offenders:
Ed Henry, CNN. For jamming in THREE hostile questions when he should have kept to one, and then having the nerve to ask a long-winded followup, prompting a smackdown from the president. (It's at the end of the video at left.)
His questions, in summary: Why did you keep your AIG OUTRAGE secret; why does Andrew Cuomo p0wn you on this populism/public AIG flaying thing; and are you running up the deficit because you hate your daughters? Yes, he actually dragged the president's daughter into his question, just because.
Henry, you'll recall, also obnoxiously jammed multiple questions into one at the last presser. Nickname ideas? "The Jammer" seems too positive; "The Hog" seems appropriate if a bit cruel. "Mic Piggy?"
Chuck Todd, NBC News. For being weirdly sadistic toward struggling Americans, AGAIN.
He asked if "some form of sacrifice" should be made to the Wall Street gods, like maybe a homeless person? He kept asking about sacrifice among "the public" and "the American."
Yes, because economic collapse, sharply higher unemployment and looming depression are not enough. We should be starving in the street and setting ourselves on fire. "The American people are making a host of sacrifices in their individual lives" was how the president put it. Duh, Todd.
This is the same guy who asked, last time, if consumers were poised to spend way, way too much money, as they were being laid off and evicted from their homes. Strike two for NBC News' new man at the White House.
Major Garrett, Fox News. For finding a way to ask an economic question involving both the words "communist" and "socialist," and for using a White House press conference as a platform from which to pitch his idea for a dystopian science fiction TV series.
The Chinese are about to launch a global currency, you see, while European socialists are bringing about a New Dark Age by not allocating more GDP to government spending, like, uh, Milton Friedman would.
In summary: You're gay for France and all Soviet sympathizers everywhere, Mr. President, but where are your red friends now, mmmmmm? Least relevant question of the presser; also, the one most likely to make your target Fox News viewer do a fist-jab in his Barcalounger.
Kevin Baron, Stars and Stripes. For mumbling. Decent question or whatever, but it's not a good sign when the president asks you to repeat yourself and when you look like you're staring at your feet through most of your question.
God, it's enough to make you think these Stars and Stripes guys don't get on television much.
Here's a transcript of all questions/answers, courtesy New York Times, which posted it as the press conference was in progress.