Neil Munro, a reporter for Tucker Carlson's after-school project website the Daily Caller, repeatedly interrupted President Obama's statements on his new immigration policy at the Rose Garden today. For his efforts, we can now crown him the biggest asshat in Washington, D.C. (during this particular hour).
Munro joins a long, proud tradition of conservatives interrupting Obama's speeches. Joe Wilson's "you lie!" remains the most memorable, but Justice Samuel Alito's mouthed "not true" certainly gets points for subtlety. The wonder of Munro's outburst today, though, is that he is now claiming that he thought it was time for questions.
For all of the difficulties our country's political parties have engaging in sensible, civil dialogue about our many differences, there is at least one arena where we promise to hear each other out and at least delay trolling until we're allowed to troll: Press conferences. Press conferences have a very simple etiquette that is only heightened when the speaker in question is the leader of the free world. You listen to someone speak, you roll your eyes in the back row, you check your email and play Tetris on your smart phone, and as soon as the speaking is over someone says "time for questions," and you raise your hand and ask a question that will lead directly into your column the next day.
And yet Munro, who was reportedly wearing "temporary" press badges today, now maintains that Obama was the rude party:
I always go to the White House prepared with questions for our president. I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States. I know he rarely takes questions before walking away from the podium. When I asked the question as he finished his speech, he turned his back on the many reporters, and walked away while I and at least one other reporter asked questions.
"A reporter's job is to ask questions and get answers," Carlson wrote in support today. "A good reporter gets the story." Sure. But it's possible to do so without becoming the story as well.