June 24, 2009

"Pitney asked his arranged question. Reporters looked at one another in amazement at the stagecraft they were witnessing."

"White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel grinned at the surprised TV correspondents in the first row. The use of planted questioners is a no-no at presidential news conferences, because it sends a message to the world -- Iran included -- that the American press isn't as free as advertised. But yesterday wasn't so much a news conference as it was a taping of a new daytime drama, 'The Obama Show.'"

AND: "Remember the outrage over Jeff Gannon?"

235 comments:

1 – 200 of 235   Newer›   Newest»
Fred4Pres said...

This is nothing new. It has been going on a long time. Just that Team Obama thought they could be brazen about it.

Plus the press feels like they put out for the President and he does not appreciate them for it.

Sloanasaurus said...

Why is anyone surprised by this? The media is left wing. It makes sense that they would cooperate with a left wing president at the expense of the average American.

Arturius said...

Were the reporters amazed that it was a staged question or that Obama was so blatently transparent about it?

former law student said...

Jeff Gannon? Oh, of course, the exact same thing:

James Dale Guckert aka Jeff Gannon first attended a White House press conference on February 28, 2003, and there asked a question of then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. At this time Gannon had never had an article published, and was not associated with any kind of news organization (Talon News had not yet been created[2]). However, Gannon states that he was editor of his high school student newspaper, as proof of having some journalistic experience.[8]

Knowing in advance that the President is going to call on you, a professional journalist (or HuffPost blogger) is not the same as planting a fake journalist under a pseudonym.

Jennifer said...

Were the reporters amazed that it was a staged question or that Obama was so blatently transparent about it?

Or that each of them were surpised he hadn't picked them when he said he loved them and only them.

Jim said...

I think this was a huge strategic blunder by Obama.

The White House press corps has been more compliant for Obama than at any time in modern history. They have dutifully parroted his talking points as if they were facts since long before the election. They have been, in dating parlance, a "sure thing" for Obama.


But Obama needed a softball on Iran. Since he was running without the security of TOTUS, he needed to know in advance what the question was going to be so he could prepare an answer in advance. Pitney provided him that opportunity by soliciting the question 3 days in advance. That made Pitney the "hot new chick in town."

So Obama has this great relationship with the White House press corps, but for a momentary advantage he goes out on a date with Pitney right in front of their faces.

I don't care who you are: betrayal of that order is going to sting. I think that a couple of slightly tougher questions he was asked at yesterday's photo-op were a direct result of the slap to the face he delivered to them.

Like a married couple when one cheats on the other, they may be able to move on but it's never really forgotten. The level of trust will never again be what it was, and occasionally it will rear its ugly head from time to time.

The White House press corps and Obama have by no means ended their marriage, but it's never going to be quite the same again.

Bob Sacamano said...

So, I expect that the left will be leading the investigative charge into the personal and private life of Nico Pitney just as they did with Jeff Gannon.

Let me know what they find.

Sloanasaurus said...

Apparently Obama sent a letter to the Supreme Leader in May to propose reconciliation. The supreme leader laughed his ass off.

Obama is on the wrong side of history with Iran. He is the anti-freedom president.

Arturius said...

Jeff Gannon? Oh, of course, the exact same thing:


It seems that the only response to criticism of Obama is to resort to the 'Bush did it too' defense. Most people stopped using that excuse after leaving grammar school.

Sloanasaurus said...

The White House press corps and Obama have by no means ended their marriage, but it's never going to be quite the same again.

Are you kidding? The white house press corps is Obama's slave. They worhip the guy (to the detriment of the American people).

All it will result in is less readership or viewing by the press corps various publications.

Lisa said...

Obama = Bush
Democrats = Republicans

we are screwed

1jpb said...

Somehow Dana forgot to note that the dinosaur MSM doesn't like this HuffPo and internet stuff because they're nibbling at the MSM's lunch. I think Rahmbo likes sticking it to the MSM by giving prominence to these media interlopers. And, I don't think Dana et. al. like it, regardless of the content of the questions.

BTW, isn't it interesting that this planted question was the most successful attempt at pinning down BHO's opposition to stating concrete consequences for the Iranian government as a response to the suffering of the Iranian protesters? That BHO stumbled over his answer a bit makes it clear that the content of this question wasn't prepared for, even if the questioner was invited. And, BTW what's wrong w/ asking HuffPo to choose and present a question from an Iranian citizen who is suffering?

Anyway, if the influence of the elite MSM continues to weaken Dana may need to get a real job. He and some of his colleagues may see the writing on the wall, as fewer folks are paying for their MSM writing on paper.

Jim said...

"It seems that the only response to criticism of Obama is to resort to the 'Bush did it too' defense."

So the Left's NEW position on Jeff Gannon, is pretty much:

"I cannot believe they thought of it before us. Just wait til it's our turn."

By which, they mean to say:


"We were totally lying when we said that it was wrong, and we were outraged."

Once again, their defenses of Obama clarify just how many lies they've been telling over the last 8 years.

Jim said...

Sloan -

"Are you kidding? The white house press corps is Obama's slave. They worhip the guy (to the detriment of the American people)."

Their evident hero worship is only going to go so far. One thing about journalists that will always be true is that the only thing they value more than their Leftist policies is their egos.

Playing along as long as you believe that everybody else is in on the game too is one thing. Finding out that you're the one being played for a fool in front of a national audience is quite another thing.

This isn't to say that they aren't still the Leftists that they were yesterday morning, so they're still going to carry a lot of water for him because they believe in his politics.

However, you can bet that there's a little less love for Obama himself in that room today than there was before he stepped in front of the microphone yesterday.

bagoh20 said...

Of course the media is in his corner, but the question Pitney asked was a good tough one that he could not and did not answer.

"Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of -- of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?"

garage mahal said...

It seems that the only response to criticism of Obama is to resort to the 'Bush did it too' defense. .

No it's the complete opposite. It's a ludicrous comparison by Instapundit to compare a real journalist who is leading the pack on the events in Iran to a male prostitute from a fake news organization (no physical office or newsroom). And Pitney asked one of the toughest question in the presser!

jayne_cobb said...

I just like Drudge's title to the fox news question:

"Obama calls on Fox News: 'What took you so long?"...

jag said...

The press corp will forgive the President and blame itself for the incident. All abusive relationships follow that pattern...

Arturius said...

No it's the complete opposite. It's a ludicrous comparison by Instapundit to compare a real journalist who is leading the pack on the events in Iran to a male prostitute from a fake news organization (no physical office or newsroom).


I see, so a planting a 'real reporter' versus a fake one is ok. Thank you for the clarification.

Bob Sacamano said...

garage said, "... to a male prostitute from a fake news organization (no physical office or newsroom)"

Again with the ad hominem. Put your efforts where your supposed values are. I want to see the Left go out and take down Nico Pitney as they did Gannon. How do we know that Nico Pitney has never sold himself to a horny old man for drinking money? I say we start with the working assumption that he has and work back from there.

The HuffPo is as viable a "news organization" as FreeRepublic. Something tells me you would be crapping yourself if a Freeper "Reporter" was hand-picked to ask a question at a Bush presser.

garage mahal said...

I see, so a planting a 'real reporter' versus a fake one is ok. Thank you for the clarification..

Pitney wasn't "planted" and contrary to what the sniveling little piss ant Milbank claims, it wasn't an "arranged" question. The WH didn't know what question he was going to ask.

Jim said...

garage -

"Pitney wasn't "planted""

...still with the lying, eh?

Even Pitney says that the White House called and requested that he be there and prepare a question for him. Are you now saying that Pitney is a liar too?

Beth said...

Since the White House called him, you think they'd have come up with a more sound-bite worthy response to his question.

garage mahal said...

Even Pitney says that the White House called and requested that he be there and prepare a question for him. Are you now saying that Pitney is a liar too?.

Cite?

Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sigerson said...

Total non-story. The administration didn't write the questions and didn't even know what they would be. The question from an Iranian in Iran was a novel and special moment, linking the President of the United States directly with a person in the crossfire. Plus the question was a hard one and he flubbed the answer. Seems like real journalism to me!

Patrick said...

I agree with Sigerson, I didn't understand it to be an arranged question, rather it was arranged that he ask a question since he was soliciting questions from Iranians. It is different, and was great 'journalism'.

It is hilarious to see Milbank get all worked up at being two-timed by his hottest girl. Of course Obama press-conferences have been staged since whenever, but staged by the media, that was fine and dandy - this blogger stuff is a perversion of this fine country's free speech!

Yes Nico's was the best question, and my opinion of Obama has gone up for cooperating with this. Unfortunately it went back down a bit with the answer.

Jim said...

garage -

Mark Knoller's Twitter.

So is he a liar too are you willing to admit yet that you were wrong?

Bob Sacamano said...

It's a non-story because we say it's a non-story. Nothing to see here. Move on.

Dana Milbank = kulak

He who speaketh ill of our lord must be dealt with.

Jim said...

"I agree with Sigerson, I didn't understand it to be an arranged question, rather it was arranged that he ask a question since he was soliciting questions from Iranians."

The whole point of a press conference is that it's supposedly a spontaneous thing. The fact that Obama went out of his way to solicit a question on a specific topic from a specific person violates the whole point.

Personally I think this country would be better served by something akin to the British system where the Prime Minister is forced to stand in the well and field all questions from Parliament. We'd get more honest exchanges from both sides if we did something like that here.

Eric said...

... a professional journalist (or HuffPost blogger) is not the same as planting a fake journalist under a pseudonym.

Anybody who gets paid to ask questions and write down the answer is a "professional journalist".

The White House press corps doesn't like pitney for the same reason they didn't like Gannon - they don't like to be reminded this is a job anybody can do.

garage mahal said...

The whole point of a press conference is that it's supposedly a spontaneous thing. The fact that Obama went out of his way to solicit a question on a specific topic from a specific person violates the whole point..

Why not just read what Pitney actually had to say?.

The WH didn't solicit "the" question, Pitney solicited questions from his readers. If it was a planted question why the hell would they pick that uncomfortable question, which was pointed out that he flubbed. They never agreed he'd be called on in the first place. Jesus H Christ.

m00se said...

I thought all reporters were male prostitutes.

Oh except for the female ones that is.

Arturius said...

The WH didn't know what question he was going to ask.


The White House asked that Pitney who has been covering the turmoil in Iran, pass along a question from an Iranian. It doesn't take a Harvard Law graduate to figure out what said question might entail. Unless of course Obama thought the question was from Achmedinejad.

That all being said, the appearance of the White House soliciting journalists for questions regardless of foreknowledge of the content, simply looks bad. If that isn't obvious to all but the most brain addled partisans, then further discussion is moot.

Trevor Jackson said...

Comparisons to Jeff Gannon? The guy who asked Bush how he can stand working with Democrats when they were "so divorced from reality"?

Totally the same thing.

rocketeer67 said...

If it was a planted question why the hell would they pick that uncomfortable question, which was pointed out that he flubbed.

Man, Garage - don't wear yourself out moving those goalposts!

First, you deny he was a "planted reporter." Now that you've lost on that - badly - you've moved on to "planted question."

Milbank's larger point is right - the value of WH press conferences relies on the trust that the WH is not coordinating with the press in advance.

Clearly, they are.

Sloppy, sloppy.

Jim said...

garage -

What's it with you and being too cowardly to admit when you were wrong?

You said he wasn't planted. I proved you wrong.

Now you're trying to play some game saying that Obama never "promised to call on him." Let's try to match that against reality, shall we?

The White House goes out of its way to reach out to somebody. They tell that someone to prepare a question for the president. They make special arrangements to get him a White House pass. They personally escort him to the press conference. But you're trying to get people to believe that there was some chance that Obama wasn't going to call on him?

Even you can't be this stupid. Or can you?

Arturius said...

They never agreed he'd be called on in the first place.


I'm sorry, the White House called him up to say they have been following his reporting and maybe the President would be interested in receiving a question from an Iranian. So why not pop over to the press conference but no gurantees the President will call on you.

Jesus H. Christ is right.

Trevor Jackson said...

I wonder how many of the same people who complained that Obama wasn't doing more to support Iranian protesters are also complaining about this attempt to speak directly to their concerns without creating a diplomatic disaster.

Shocking secret: Republican and Democratic presidents often let reporters know ahead of time to expect a question. Do you think that when a president calls on, say, Stars & Stripes he doesn't have a pretty good idea what he's going to be asked?

traditionalguy said...

The reason that the MSM is losing audience share is because fake political reality is BORING. The reporters can become famous and feared by just fighting a little for something called the truth. They don't have to fight much, or well, but if there is no fight from them, then they will lose the audience for their only product.

Eric said...

Comparisons to Jeff Gannon? The guy who asked Bush how he can stand working with Democrats when they were "so divorced from reality"?

That's a fair question.

bagoh20 said...

"They never agreed he'd be called on in the first place."

Yea, Obama didn't get the signed original contract so no agreement, no plant.

Still damned good question he asked. If they all were that good, I would prefer planting.

Of course the question came from Iran, so that's probably the friendliest question he could get from them.

1jpb said...

Trevor,

I didn't realize that was the "flavor" of Gannon's question.

For me, the most appealing thing about Rs was their opposition to moral equivalency arguments. But, not only have they dropped that perspective, they've resorted to complete fraud to makeup ridiculous equivalencies.

Losers.

Jim said...

Two salient and important points to be made:

1) If Obama hadn't been trying to deceive the public, then he could easily have said:

"Nico Pitney has been doing great work on Iran, so I had my people contact him and ask him to bring me a question directly from an Iranian. What did you come up with Nico?"

If he had simply been honest, nobody - including me - would or could reasonably have had an objection to that kind of formulation. It was the intentional attempt at deception that offends - not that question.

2) Obama is claiming that it's not the US' business, that we should keep our noses out of it, and that we don't want to be seen as meddling:

So what business does the president of the United States have in taking a direct question from an Iranian citizen on a purely internal matter?

It's a self-contradictory position and evidence that they:

a) are reactive rather than proactive,
b) they still don't know what they're doing,
c) Obama is once again trying to have it both ways.

Arturius said...

I wonder how many of the same people who complained that Obama wasn't doing more to support Iranian protesters are also complaining about this attempt to speak directly to their concerns without creating a diplomatic disaster.


It's rather difficult to create a diplomatic disaster with a country which we haven't had diplomatic relations with in 30 years.

Patrick said...

I am simply staggered at people who think this is somehow a 'breach of trust' in press-conferences.

Does anyone here imagine for an instant that the press conferences weren't just a wee bit staged before????????????

Finally, for the fan of the British parliament, there is some merit in what you suggest, but it would entail ripping up a few centuries of Constitution. Also, you should google 'Dorothy Dixers'.

Trevor Jackson said...

"It's rather difficult to create a diplomatic disaster with a country which we haven't had diplomatic relations with in 30 years."

Let me amend and be more specific then:

". . . this attempt to speak directly to their concerns without endangering their lives or impeding their cause."

rocketeer67 said...

Does anyone here imagine for an instant that the press conferences weren't just a wee bit staged before????????????

No. I would think all the Gannon references prior would have tipped you to that.

It's just that the selective pass that Obama gets from his ineffective "defenders" is at once frustrating and amusing.

Arturius said...

Does anyone here imagine for an instant that the press conferences weren't just a wee bit staged before????????????


I think the apt comparison would be to professional wrestling. You know its fake but you're still surprised when the wrestlers admit it. At least before there was the facade that it was a spontaneous give and take but now we can safely assume that isn't the case at least with this President.

Going beyond this whole issue, Jim laid it out quite nicely with his 11:19 post. Obama clearly is trying damage control over his earlier reticence in speaking out more forcefully against the Iranian regime by calling on Pitney.

Jim said...

Trevor -

"Shocking secret: Republican and Democratic presidents often let reporters know ahead of time to expect a question"

The AP, the alphabet networks and CNN are all traditionally given questions at a White House presser. That doesn't mean that they have any idea what the question is going to be about: it's just tradition.


If the HuffPo had a regular seat in the White House press corps, then this wouldn't be an issue. Obama specifically bussed this guy in to ask a question on a specific topic. That Obama wasn't even prepared to answer a question that Pitney had very publicly solicited 3 day beforehand should be an utter embarrassment to him and his staff.

Obama should have had an answer to that question whether Pitney asked it or not. They should have been gaming out the various possible scenarios for over a week. That they haven't prepared for anything shows just what an amateur hour they're running in the White House.

In all the furor over what a ham-handed plant job they did, it's being lost that Obama was as unprepared to talk about the very subject the press conference he himself called as Sarkosy says Obama was when he showed up for a climate change conference.

It's just further illustration that Obama isn't nearly as "scary smart" or "prepared from Day One" job as both he and all of his sycophantic followers claimed he was. Six months in and he still doesn't have a clue what he's doing. Just imagine if the elections had been held in January...

Aaron said...

I don't object to staged questions per se, but bluntly as Obama picked him, he should have been transparent about it. he should have said, "now i have asked him here to ask me a few questions from sources apparently inside of iran." then it would have been wholly kosher to me.

Arturius said...

Let me amend and be more specific then:

". . . this attempt to speak directly to their concerns without endangering their lives or impeding their cause."



Well perhaps you haven't been keeping up with current events but the Iranian regime has shown little reluctance in killing and beating demonstrators despite Obama's desire not to 'meddle'.

The idea that somehow the Iranian regime was going to take the gloves off if Obama sided with the demonstrators is laughable on its face.

Big Mike said...

@Aaron, I thought you said a week or so ago that you weren't Jewish. Why do you care about keeping kosher?

Jim said...

Patrick -

"Finally, for the fan of the British parliament, there is some merit in what you suggest, but it would entail ripping up a few centuries of Constitution. Also, you should google 'Dorothy Dixers'."

Two points:

1) There's nothing in the Constitution which prevents the president from walking down to Congress and saying "Here I am. I'll answer whatever questions you have. I'll come back every week if you want to talk to me directly." It would be an act of political courage, and it would serve our Republic well.

2) Of course there would be planted questions from his own side that the President could hit out of the park. But there would also be pointed questions from the opposition that he wouldn't. I'm willing to let the president (of either party) hit a few homers if he also has to face the prospect of striking out in front of the country. Maybe we'd see a little more humility from our presidents are more responsiveness to the public.

Big Mike said...

Unfortunately for the press, Barack seems to have learned how to deal with them from how Hizzoner does it in Chicago. There's no requirement to be subtle -- if anyone complains then they can be squashed like a bug. Or a fly, anyway.

1jpb said...

Aaron,

That is pretty much what he did say.

Paraphrasing BHO:

I know you've been seeing a lot of reports directly out of Iran. I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating directly through the internet. Do you have a question?

Christy said...

Didn't President Josiah Bartlett use Danny Concannon that way a few times?

1jpb said...

Here is the tape that I did a lame transcript of.

Jim said...

1jpb -

Can you point me to the part of Obama's request that he said that he and his staff brought Pitney there specifically for the purpose of asking a question?

Didn't think so.

He was intentionally deceptive when he didn't have to be. That's a sign of immaturity and not thinking through the consequences of your actions. As I've said elsewhere, Obama is a 14-year old boy emotionally and he's never done anything to prove otherwise. He lies when he doesn't have to. He gets snippy when challenged to back up what he's saying. He cuts off his nose to spite his face, and he revels in trash-talking his opponents. That's not presidential behavior: it's pure high school.

Patrick said...

Except, Jim, your President doesn't have to explain or justify himself to Congress. The Westminster system Prime Ministers answer Parliament's questions because Parliament can sack them.

So I guess I don't mean to say your idea is bad as such, but rather that it is naive/unworkable. The Westminister system does not depend on a frequently repeated act of political charity but on the hard necessities of political survival. What you are proposing, in your Constitutional context, would be that political charity.

(besides, what makes you think Congress could hold a paper bag responsible?)

Marti said...

Jim, the problem with your President-going-to-Congress to answer questions scenario is that people would be killed as Senators McConnell and Schumer raced to get to the microphone first.

"Remember the outrage over Jeff Gannon?"

I remember the one-sided outrage. Republican sycophants didn't seem to care. Nice that they do now, but it's as shallow as their new-found fiscal prudence.

1jpb said...

Jim,

Watch the tape. Paraphrasing BHO:

Since we're on Iran, I know that Nico is here from Huff Po, I know I know you've been seeing a lot of reports directly out of Iran. I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating directly through the internet. Do you have a question?

Jim I don't doubt in any way, shape, or from that you weren't able to discern that BHO was saying that Nico was there to present an internet question from an Iranian. But, that's because you're not very bright. It's not because BHO didn't make it clear that Nico was there to ask a question from an Iranian.

Jim said...

Patrick -

I don't think for one minute that it will ever actually happen.

I'm just saying that the American people would enjoy a much more vigorous and substantive public debate on the issues than they're getting right now if it did.

Both parties would be forced to do something more than just repeat worn-out talking points, they'd have to ask the tough questions and provide the tough answers to the substance behind the policy they're advocating.

I'm not naiive enough to think that any politician is willing to do that kind of hard work. Doesn't stop me from wishing that they would though.

m00se said...

Ding!

Sully's popup timer goes off!

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/06/when-barack-asked-nico.html

"Yes, it was artful. Too artful for the Beltway to understand. If Obama is two steps behind his own movement, the Washington MSM is about ten steps further in the rear."

He's so dreamy...

former law student said...

... a professional journalist (or HuffPost blogger) is not the same as planting a fake journalist under a pseudonym.

Anybody who gets paid to ask questions and write down the answer is a "professional journalist".

Even when they're paid by GOP supporters?

Jim said...

1jpb -

I may not be very bright in your estimation, but I can clearly discern that in no way shape or from did he say

"Nico is here at my request."

Saying that someone is here from HuffPo is like saying "I know Jake Tapper is here from ABCNews" which is a completely meaningless throwaway: Jake Tapper works for ABCNews. We can all see that he's here. It's a statement of the obvious and nothing more.

"I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating directly through the internet."

what's missing from this statement is:

"...that I specifically asked you to bring me."

Oh there's that inconvenient matter of trying to deceive people by omitting the important facts again. Damn that reality intruding again.

So tell me again where you find the part that Obama admits that he and his staff planted this guy. If you can, I'll admit that I'm not bright.

If you can't, then you'll have to admit that you're the one with the cognitive difficulties.

Deal?

Jim said...

Marti -

"I remember the one-sided outrage."

Which is exactly the point. The same people who are here bending themselves into pretzels trying to find a way to defend Obama are the ones who were so "outraged" when Bush planted one.

It's just another example of what liars they were during the Bush administration. They were only outraged they didn't think of it first.

[For the record, I thought it was dumb to even try it. Democrats get away with a lot, but the media goes after anything that's favorable to Republicans. It was bound to uncovered sooner or later, so it was stupid to even try.

Bush's PR operation went down the tubes midway through his first term after Karen Hughes returned to Texas. You can track his approval ratings before and after to see how clear the break was. Prior to that point, the Bush administration was aggressive at fighting off the lies, smears and slanders directed at it. After Hughes left, it's like they just gave up trying so people were left to believe that everything the Left was saying must have merit. It was a mistake to abandon the battlefield.]

Jim said...

fls -

"Even when they're paid by GOP supporters?"

How incredibly deceitful this is given that HuffPo is an expressly Leftist organization whose survival depends on the support of other Leftist organizations.

So your position is that it's OK for the president to lie when Leftists are getting to do it, but not OK when Republicans are?

Make up your mind. Either it was wrong when Bush did and it's also wrong when Obama does it, or it wasn't wrong either time.

You can't have it both ways.

garage mahal said...

What's it with you and being too cowardly to admit when you were wrong?

You said he wasn't planted. I proved you wrong.
.

It's obvious you have no clue to what a "plant" even means, so how could we further the discussion? A plant is a handpicked reporter and an easy handpicked question agreed on in advance. Notice how neither of these two things happened? NOT A PLANT.

Arturius said...

It's obvious you have no clue to what a "plant" even means, so how could we further the discussion? A plant is a handpicked reporter and an easy handpicked question agreed on in advance. Notice how neither of these two things happened?


Is that the official definition or the one which closely supports your argument?

Lets see. Pitney admits he was contacted by the White House regarding his Iran blogging. Pitney says the President would be interested in a question coming directly from an Iranian. The White House brings Pitney over and personally escorts him to the front of the press room to present his question. LOOKS A LOT LIKE A PLANT.

Seriously, this is academic.

Robert Cook said...

"Why is anyone surprised by this? The media is left wing. It makes sense that they would cooperate with a left wing president at the expense of the average American."

Yes, why is everyone so surprised by this. After all, the "left wing media" (sic, meaning, uh, NOT) abjectly cooperated with George Bush in at least several staged press conferences where he called upon reporters who had been predetermined to ask questions which had been prearranged. And, yes, let's NOT forget planted non-journalist Jeff Gannon.

I don't applaud the practice, no matter who the President is, but this simply reveals how much Obama is part of an ongoing tradition of executive lackeys for the entrenched oligarchy who really own this country. This fantasy that either Obama himself or "the media" is left wing is infantile and baseless.

Jim said...

garage -

It's plainly obvious that, like DTL and Jeremy, you have no intention of standing behind what you said and are willing to redefine words to mean what you want them to mean in contravention of reality in order to avoid being man enough to simply say:

"I know I said he wasn't a plant, but that was before I knew that Pitney himself admitted he was. Therefore, I retract what I said earlier based on the new information that I now have."

It would require a little honesty on your part, but that's not really something you're capable of, is it?

When you get a little integrity and can actually show that you give a damn about reality, feel free to rejoin the conversation. Until then, perhaps you might check the Lost and Found: I hear they found your character. It's a little worse for wear than the last time you saw it, but you really need to get it back.

1jpb said...

Jim,

BHO asked: "Do you have a question?" This question occurred after BHO had made it clear that Nico was expected to present one of the Iranian internet questions which Nico had been accumulating.

But, you would have preferred: "I have asked you here to ask you, do you have a question?"

This would be all well and good except that BHO had already made it crystal clear that Nico was there to ask one of the Iranian internet questions which Nico had been accumulating.

look at the tape, paraphrasing BHO:

Since we're on Iran, I know that Nico is here from Huff Po, I know you've been seeing a lot of reports directly out of Iran. I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating directly through the internet. Do you have a question?

So, your problem is that it was not clear to you that the WH was asking Nico to ask an Iranian internet question even though BHO stated that he was explicitly asking Nico to relay and internet Iranian quetion. Your argument would make sense if either a) BHO wasn't part of the WH, or b) BHO had not made it clear that Nico was being asked to relay an Iranian internet question.

But, BHO is part of the WH and he did make it clear that Nico was there to relay an internet question. No mystery.

Jim said...

1jpb -

Since you admit that Obama never admitted that Pitney was there only at Obama's request, I'll assume that you're ready to admit that you're the one with the cognitive difficulties as well since Obama's intentional omission of that salient fact is, in fact, the entire point of this discussion.

Chase said...

.


Jim,

garage is a smart liberal.

But let's face facts: He got exposed and spanked on this one. Thank you!

It's that little thing that liberals have when caught with their pants down:

"My pants aren't down! You do not see my bare ass! Anyway, that time I made fun of X for his pants being down - it's not the same thing! Because I said so, that's why!"


Seriously - there is such a disturbing amoral quality to the liberal mindset. I believe it's congenital.

madawaskan said...

Look people!

If Obama puts a pickle on his hot dog and makes it "kosher" when he eats them with the bloody Iranians-will you finally leave him-

aaalllloooone!!1!?

Can't he just get a waffle, er hot dog?

And get back to unionizing, nationalizing and czaristarizing?

Damn it you people and those pesky street urchins in Iran!

Patrick said...

Provided that he then shoves it up their arses, sure I will.

1jpb said...

Jim,

I just admitted that BHO openly and explicitly stated that Nico was being asked to relay an Iranian question from the internet. This was not hidden.

Look at the tape in my earlier comment. Here, again, is the paraphrase where BHO makes it clear that Nico is being asked to relay an Iranian question from the internet. It's not kept a secret:

Since we're on Iran, I know that Nico is here from Huff Po, I know you've been seeing a lot of reports directly out of Iran. I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating directly through the internet. Do you have a question?

You are wrong to claim that BHO didn't disclose that the question for Nico was intended to relay an internet question from an Iranian. This fact could not be made any more clear.

It's not like BHO simply asked "Do you have a question" without first making it clear that Nico's only purpose for being asked if he had a question was to relay an internet question from an Iranian.

Why can't you understand that BHO did disclose that Nico was being asked to relay an Iranian question? It's impossible to listen to BHO's words and not understand that he was asking Nico to relay an Iranian question.

holdfast said...

Huffpo is trying to steal the MSM's boyfriend and its market share. MSM could cut that beeyatch.

madawaskan said...

Patrick-

Ummm well I guess you want "buns" too then...

Sheesh you people are sooooo damn picky!

garage mahal said...

But let's face facts: He got exposed and spanked on this one. Thank you!.

LOL. Okay if you say so Chase. A plant, according to conservatives, is a reporter who announces on the most read political blog, that he is taking questions from his readers on what to ask the President pertaining to events in Iran that he has been covering exclusively in the most read political blog. If he got called. And the question the plant asked just happened to be most dicey and difficult question posed compared to the non-plants. The shame. The guilt!

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

There is really too much talking past each other on this: He essentially planted the reporter, but not the question. It's that simple.

This usually works out good for him because the reporters mostly want him to look good and they ask their own questions.

It did not work this time since the question was Iranian. Sometimes even a sure thing goes bad.

The President should just let random reporters ask questions. I know it's crazy, but we should give it a try. Maybe they could have a lottery or something so all reporters and news sources have a chance.

Obama would still get soft balled, but it would be much more fair and instructive to the public.

madawaskan said...

If you plant one reporter a thousand mushrooms will grow.

Jim said...

1jpb -

For the last time:

Did Obama, AT ANY TIME, ever admit that he and staff specifically solicited a question from and escorted Pitney to the press conference?

FULL STOP. Period. End of question.

You keep trying to get around that very basic question because you and I both know that he did not.

When you can be honest enough to admit that Obama was intentionally deceptive about this, then I can accept that you're actually trying to have a debate and not just hoping that if you post the same quote over and over and over and over again that people will eventually just give up responding to you so that you can convince yourself that you were right.

You aren't. No matter how many times you cut and paste the same quote, nowhere in it does Obama say - or even imply - that Pitney was there only because Obama specifically sought him out and made special arrangements for him to be there.

If you can't find where he said it, then you must admit that he didn't. It's really not any more complicated than that. Why is that causing you such a problem?

Jim said...

bagoh20 -

It's not "talking past each other." It's an intentional obfuscation on the part of garage and 1jpb to avoid admitting the obvious:

Obama intentionally committed a lie of omission in order to hide what he and his staff did. They don't care because they like Obama, and so are willing to look past it. In fact, they kind of admire Obama's chutzpah for having done so.

On the other hand, they're still outraged that Bush did it because Republicans aren't allowed to play dirty, just Democrats. Why? Because garage and 1jpb hate Republicans, and they said so. That's why. Shut up.

If they had the cajones to admit the obvious truth of their position and the hypocrisy it exposes within themselves, then the discussion would be over.

But as long as they want to continue to twist themselves into pretzels trying to pretend that this isn't their position, I'm happy to help tighten the knots for them.

MayBee said...

Jim- I am so with you on your comments.

Sy said...

Dana Mibank chronicled what happened behind the scene step by step. It happened Jim. Just face up to it and admit you help elected a fraud.

Of course, our own dear Ann helped elected him too. At least she is courageous enough to call it how she is sees it.

Obama knew this because White House aides had called Pitney the day before to invite him, and they had escorted him into the room. They told him the president was likely to call on him, with the understanding that he would ask a question about Iran that had been submitted online by an Iranian. "I know that there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating through the Internet," Obama went on. "Do you have a question?"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/23/AR2009062303262.html

Arturius said...

A plant, according to conservatives, is a reporter who announces on the most read political blog, that he is taking questions from his readers on what to ask the President pertaining to events in Iran that he has been covering exclusively in the most read political blog.


No, I think most conservatives are saying that a plant is a reporter who is specifically contacted by the White House to attend a press conference and present a question from an Iranian in connection with current events.

If he got called.


Do you really subscribe to the theory that the White House invited Pitney to the press conference, personally escorted him to the front of the room on the premise that maybe he would be called on? If so I would caution you not to respond to emails from Nigerian diplomats seeing help in opening a bank account.

And the question the plant asked just happened to be most dicey and difficult question posed compared to the non-plants.


It’s only a difficult question for someone who doesn’t see any moral difference between Achmedinejad and the President of Sweden.

Jim said...

Sy -

" It happened Jim. Just face up to it and admit you help elected a fraud."

Maybe this was a typo, but I surely didn't vote for Obama.

1jpb said...

"There is really too much talking past each other on this: He essentially planted the reporter, but not the question. It's that simple."

I agree w/ this. I have no problem w/ the "plant" term when referring to Nico, because, as BHO stated, he was "planted" there for a particular purpose--I even used "plant" in my first comment of this post. But, it is obvious that a) the so-called plant was clearly disclosed by BHO when he invited Nico to ask his question*, and b) the question was not planted, in fact it was a tough question.

*BHO Paraphrase: Since we're on Iran, I know that Nico is here from Huff Po, I know you've been seeing a lot of reports directly out of Iran. I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating directly through the internet. Do you have a question?

Jim,

Are you challenging me to find a quote proves that BHO specifically solicited a question from Nico? Duh.

Are you challenging me to find a quote where BHO acknowledges that Nico is only being asked a question because he is expected to relay an internet question from an Iranian? Duh.

Are you challenging me to find a quote where BHO acknowledges that his staff drove Nico to the press conference (a claim I haven't read anywhere else). You got me on that one. You would have liked this sort of statement: "Since we're on Iran, I know that Nico is here [because he hitched a ride from my staff] from Huff Po, I know you've been seeing a lot of reports directly out of Iran. I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating directly through the internet. Do you have a question?"

I will acknowledge it was a bit odd for the WH staff to give Nico a lift, assuming that you're right about that.

AlphaLiberal said...

The question was not pre-arranged. They did plan on asking the blogger a question, though. The Rahm smirk seems more about the Old Media being upstaged by the New Media.

But the right wing will invent all kinds of partisan facts. Like the news media, owned by big business, being liberal.

Pogo said...

Just another reason to never watch a press conference, read an article about Obama by the MSM, or listen to Obama speak.

It's all meaningless, all for show.
Stagecraft, pretend interviews with softball, screened, or planted questions. Scripted bullshit.

What do they need me for?
Seems like that circle jerk can keep going indefinitiely.

Arturius said...

the question was not planted, in fact it was a tough question.



It was a tough question in the same vein as asking if the sky is blue is tough.

former law student said...

Make up your mind. Either it was wrong when Bush did and it's also wrong when Obama does it, or it wasn't wrong either time.

If Obama ever gives a White House press pass to a non journalist who has adopted a pseudonym for the occasion, whose only Internet exposure has been posting his availability as a gay escort, for the purpose of asking him a softball question, then I will be swift to condemn him.

If you think Obama intended to deceive the American citizenry but just sucked at it, you're entitled to your opinion.

Big Mike said...

The President planted the reporter, and if he didn't plant the question he certainly knew well ahead of time what it would be.

Bush got caught with the Gannon thing, but I suspect the practice goes back to JFK -- just with a bit more sublety than Barack Obama just displayed.

Some of us conservatives are upset, but more by the blatancy than by the fact that it happened. It kind of goes with the "I won" stuff, doesn't it? But on the whole we're having fun with the liberal crowd -- and the MSM especially -- who were offering up thunderous outrage at Gannon and now are caught up trying to distinguish this from that.

(Hint, guys. Politics is not parsing the Talmud. You're only looking stupid. Now toddle along and debate the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.)

Jim said...

1jpb -

You're intentionally not answering the question. You spent a lot of words going around and around and never once answered my question.

You know very well what I was asking, and you know very well what the answer is.

I even bolded the question so you couldn't miss the specific question that I asked. But you spent hundreds of words dodging it.

When you can actually be honest, we can continue the conversation. Until then, you've just exposed what a hypocritical liar you're willing to be.

UWS guy said...

1: OBAMA announcing to the crowd that he is aware that someone in Iran has a question for him = "a planted question."

Where is the perfidy or obscurantism in this anyway analogous to what happened in the Bush White House?

2: This post coupled with the post yesterday about Obama being Dukakis aka "milktoast" on Iran makes Ann Althouse more of a wingnut than Pam Gellar over at Atlas shrugged or whatever that loons website is called.

Arturius said...

If you think Obama intended to deceive the American citizenry but just sucked at it, you're entitled to your opinion.


Shorter former law student: Our side at least planted a bona fide reporter/blogger to lob a softball question which we still managed to screw up.

Jim said...

fls -

"whose only Internet exposure has been posting his availability as a gay escort,"

As opposed to Andrew Sullivan whom you revere offering himself up for free as Mr. Power-Glutes?

Oh yes. The difference is that Gannon got paid. Sullivan's just a whore.

AlphaLiberal said...

Meanwhile, Republican moralist and Governor Mark Sanford has reappeared and, after much lying, admitted to cheating on his wife (and kids).

But Ann keeps on flogging those winger false facts.

Jim said...

UWS -

If you can read through this thread and come up with that as a conclusion, then you're going to need to join garage and 1jpb at the Lost and Found.

AlphaLiberal said...

Yeah, we have more brain dead false equivalency.

Big difference between Pitney and Gannon:

- Gannon pretended to be someone he wasn't.
- Gannon made up a false news service. and the bush White House played along.
- Gannon served up partisan slow balls while Pitney actually asked a challenging question.
- Gannon was, literally, a whore. Am not aware that Pitney moonlights so.

madawaskan said...

Are we really going to call what Arianna Huffington does-journalism?

Of course maybe she is just more honest about whatever "it" is that they do-and that's probably were the resentment from those that fake "objectivity" better-is coming from.

Jim said...

Alpha -

The Lost and Found is calling you too...

garage mahal said...

Obama:
"Nico, I know that you, and all across the Internet, we've been seeing a lot of reports coming directly out of Iran. I know that there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating through the Internet. ... Do you have a question?"

Plant!

madawaskan said...

Oh ya-

One sort of hard question makes Arianna Huffington the "provider" of balance...

former law student said...

As opposed to Andrew Sullivan whom you revere

I? Were it not for Althouse, I would have gone through life blissfully unaware of Andrew Sullivan.

My point was that unlike this Nico Pitney dude, Guckert AKA Gannon had no track record either in the mainstream media or in alternate media before he got White House press access.

Jim said...

garage -

LOL...So now you've taken to reposting what 1jpb has already reposted multiple times. Are you guys sharing brain cells today?

Answer the question I posed. It's the only relevant one. Everything else is just so much smoke that you're blowing.

AlphaLiberal said...

Only in a wingnut "brain" could this be considered a softball question:

"Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn’t that a betrayal of — of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?"

So, he insinuates the President may betray brave democracy protesters. That's a softball question?

Suggest you guys engage brain before typing.

Jim said...

fls -

It's either wrong, or it isn't. Period.

That you want to draw lines down to the nth degree to say that what Obama did was OK, but what Bush did was wrong only shows that you're only offended because Bush was a Republican.

Either you have to defend both, or oppose both. I have. You haven't. End of story.

UWS guy said...

GANNON: "Why are you so awesome Mr. Bush and why are the democrats so mean to you?"

BUSH: "That you for that question, mr. random and unscripted reporter."

vs....

OBAMA: "let me preface my next question with a simple fact that I'm aware that this person has given my staff and myself advance knowledge that he has a question from an actual Iranian."

HUFFPO: "Mr Obama here is a question for you (insert insightful and difficult question as opposed to the "Y R U so awsum?!" from Gannon")




Yeah....totally seeing the simularities....

AlphaLiberal said...

Also, Nico Pitney has been reporting closely from Iran. And posted Iranian views.

http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/political-media/white-house-we-didnt-coordinate-question-with-the-huffington-post/

But White House spokesperson Josh Earnest offered a different explanation: White House officials knew that Pitney might do this because of what he’d been posting on his live-blog for days now, which is to say, the views of ordinary Iranians.

“Based on that work, we invited him to attend the press conference,” Earnest told me. “We reached out to him yesterday. We spoke to him and said it was possible he would get a question. Sure enough, the President called on him and he asked the toughest question that anyone asked as it relates to Iran.”

“We didn’t want to know the question, and we didn’t ask,” Earnest continues. “This was a creative way for us to answer a question from an Iranian.”

Something tells me that this won’t satisfy the accusers…

former law student said...

It's either wrong, or it isn't. Period.

Define it ; show me the equivalence.

AlphaLiberal said...

Jim, have no idea what you're talking about re: "Lost and Found."

But I've given up trying to reason with modern conservatives. So you won't be seeing much from me in these parts.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arturius said...

Only in a wingnut "brain" could this be considered a softball question:

"Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad?


How about an internationally supervised recount along with an investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the deaths of 20 or more innocent demonstrators. That's just for starters.

And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn’t that a betrayal of — of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?"

Um, yes?

Next question please.

Jim said...

It's plainly obvious that the Leftists here have no intention of acting with either integrity or honesty at any level on this issue, so feel free to continue arguing with the air.

No one has yet been willing to answer my question, which is an answer in and of itself.

Thanks for admitting the obvious: that Obama was dishonest, and that you don't care. Whether directly or indirectly, you've conceded that Obama never admitted that he was the one who responsible for Pitney's presence. Everything else you have to say on the subject is meaningless.

Continue splitting hairs to try defend why you don't care, but it still doesn't change what the meaning of the word "is" is.

Jim said...

Alpha -

If you'd bother reading the thread before jumping in with both feet in your mouth, you would know what I meant about "Lost and Found."

Like Obama, in over your head and refusing to admit it.

UWS guy said...

Hey Jim, what would be a better more honest way for Obama to take an actual question from an actual Iranian in his press conference?

Would you prefer for the white house to find it's own questioner online instead?

Big Mike said...

@Jim, can you give it a rest? What Professor Althouse and her colleagues train their students to do is "distinguish" their case from comparable precedents. The technique is based on finding slight differences between your guy and the precedents, and try to use that as a wedge to peel your client off from those other cases. That's what FLS and 1jpb and garage and Alpha are trying to do.

You won't get a coversation with them because on the whole liberals don't do conversations. They do lectures and they do hissy fits. You need to find a grown-up if you want to have a genuine conversation.

(@Alpha from 1:52, can that please be a promise?

AlphaLiberal said...

Yes, look over there at Nico Pitney!

Ignore the moralizing Republican hypocrites!

AlphaLiberal said...

Big Mike, no way. I will still need the occasional foray into your alternate universe. Just for kicks and grins.

1jpb said...

Jim,

Yes, BHO did admit that he was soliciting a question of specified and precisely limited scope from Nico. He left no doubt that Nico's role was predetermined and precisely limited. BHO never pretended that Nico was free to ask anything other than the type of question BHO requested from him. He openly did this at the press conference. But, as we saw, the actual question that Nico presented was not a WH selected softball.

No, BHO did not admit that his staff escorted Nico to the press conference. For the record, I don't know that the WH staff did give Nico a lift--I'll assume you'll provide a link to support this assertion that you made in your bold font question.

madawaskan said...

You've got to be kidding Huffpo has been a virtual handmaiden to Democrats for how long now-without even a pretense of objectivity-you do have to admire the brazenous of it all.

Democrats have ABC, CBS, and NBC whose numbers outweigh all of cable combined.

You have Hollywood, the night time comedy venues, the crap on Comedy Central, Daily Kos, Huffpo,the Washington Post, the NYT, the insipid women's shows-Oprah, "the View", the stupid women's magazines-whatever the hell you call Vanity Fair and you are going to bitch and whine about some guys on the archaic medium of radio, Gannon oh and btw-

tell Ann she isn't covering something.

My gawd there is a small void in the damn carpet bombing -Ann has too many righties!

Good job keep up the tyranny.

You're all so Liberal!

AlphaLiberal said...

Jim, "lost and found" was in one of your posts, so there was no value in reading it.

It's the predictable character attacks. You, like Gov Mark Sanford and Senator Ensign, consider yourself so much better than people you disagree with.

Maybe you're a hypocrite, too!

Jim said...

Big Mike -

See my previous post about letting the Leftists argue with the air, and consider me "rested."

Consider me a hopeless idealist, but I keep hoping that one day a Leftist will be able to offer an intellectually consistent argument about pretty much any topic discussed here.

But instead all that results is this logic-defying hypocritical nonsense. I should probably stop playing Don Quixote and tilting at the windmills, but I can't help but believe.

Arturius said...

No, BHO did not admit that his staff escorted Nico to the press conference.


He didn't have to since Pitney did. Although I do find it interesting that while he was told there was no assurance he would be called on, they dragged him to the front of the room anyway.

Shanna said...

Since we're on Iran, I know that Nico is here from Huff Po, I know you've been seeing a lot of reports directly out of Iran. I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating directly through the internet. Do you have a question?

This is not a straightforward way of stating what happened. “Nico is here from Huff Po”, “you’ve been seeing reports”, “there may be questions”…this is a very passive way of putting. He could have taken out “may actually” and said “are” in that second sentence and the whole thing would have read better.

Why can't you understand that BHO did disclose that Nico was being asked to relay an Iranian question?

I think the point Jim has been making rather clearly is that BHO should have mentioned that the reporter was invited strictly for the purpose of asking this question he solicited on the internet. Which, was a fair question and an interesting idea, so I have no problem with that. But the language Obama used was crafted to imply that Obama kind of heard that maybe there were some questions being asked on the internet and maybe Nico would have some of these questions, when in fact he expressly asked him there to ask those questions! Strange. Not a huge deal, but strange. Why not say it flat out, if you’re going to devote a whole sentence to explaining it?

1jpb said...

Arturius,

When you say that Nico was escorted to the press conference are you saying he was escorted to the press conference or are you saying he was escorted to a prime seat once he was at the press conference?

I hope this isn't the press whining about the seating chart. It'll be Newt and AF1 all over again.

Big Mike said...

@Jim, some leftists can argue from a rational premise, and even admit when they've been wrong about something. Just not the ones you'll see posting in comment threads -- and least of all here.

(Note Alpha's reference to our "alternate reality," as though the reality in his own head and the world as it is are one and the same.)

former law student said...

My objection is to the false moral equivalence, asserted by Instapundit, between "Jeff Gannon" and Nico Pitney. Had Althouse not posted it, I would not have thought of it myself.

Because conservative commenters are always keen detectors of false moral equivalences, I'm surprised they didn't turn on Insty here.

I found Jim's question:

Did Obama, AT ANY TIME, ever admit that he and staff specifically solicited a question from and escorted Pitney to the press conference?

Objection, compound question. Plus I don't care if they sent a car to pick Pitney up. Pitney is not part of the White House press corps. Is there even a chair with a little brass tag reading "Huffington Post"?

But I do agree that Obama should have said, Nico, my understanding is that you have received many questions via the Internet from Iranians, and we talked about you coming today to ask me one of those questions. Do you have one of those questions?

But, Obama's awkward phrasing made it clear to me that they had a prearrangement of some kind.

traditionalguy said...

Is this like the payola scandal. This guy is picked in advance to be a Top Ten Questioner. There will be jealousy among the other Reporters in Waiting at the King's Court.

former law student said...

the crap on Comedy Central

Understandable that mad would protest: "Reality has a well known liberal bias." - Stephen Colbert, White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, 4/29/2006

Chase said...

But the right wing will invent all kinds of partisan facts. Like the news media, owned by big business, being liberal.

Hey FUCK HEAD ALPHA LIBERAL:

Prove that your statement makes one fucking bit of a difference in whether or not media bends liberal.

You can't. But you better try - start with that ultraconservative Piece of human refuse Piinch Sulzberger and his ultraconservative Board at the New York Times. But you won't because you know you'll lose, dip shit.

God, how you liberals say shit and never pay for the lies you spread.


Which means NOTHING you ever have to say can be trusted here, asshole.



YOU JUST GOT SERVED, ALPHA JERK-OFF

So Shut Your Lying Fucking mouth you piece of worthless shit.

1jpb said...

"that BHO should have mentioned that the reporter was invited strictly for the purpose of asking this question he solicited on the internet."

BTW, this is precisely what BHO did.

Do you think that there was some gray area where it could be interpreted that BHO was saying that Nico was being asked to relay a question from an Iranian or to tell us about his toe jamb or some other topic of interest to Nico?

Seriously, after BHO's comments does anyone really think that Nico was being asked a question at the press conference for some reason other than because BHO explicitly wanted to have an Iranian's question relayed to him by Nico? No mystery.

Arturius said...

Arturius,

When you say that Nico was escorted to the press conference are you saying he was escorted to the press conference or are you saying he was escorted to a prime seat once he was at the press conference?



I didn't say it, Pitney said it. Maybe I'm just not in the know on how presidential press conferences work but I wasn't aware that journalists are routinely contacted by the White House to attend said conferences to pose questions on specific events and then are personally escorted to the front of the room.

As Jim said earlier, I think both sides are talking past each other on this. Since Pitney is a bona fide reporter and not a gay escort it's perfectly acceptable for him to be contacted personally to attend the presidential PC and pose his questions to the President. Furthermore, the idea that the question posed was 'difficult' or 'tough' is only such if you're trying sit on both sides of the fence. I guess its a lot like voting Present.

Chase said...

Every liberal defending this the HuffPo is a lying sack of chicken shit, and should be rounded up and used for target practice because they are useless, non-productive, talking out of their ass human beings who continually do damage to this country and it's decent people.

Look at the idiocy they are trying to spread. garage and fls are bascially saying that they are amoral assholes, incapable of making a stand on any issue with integrity. Which means they sponge off the decent hard-working people of this nation. You can guarantee that they and their kind have done ZERO to make this country a better place.

Target cow chips is all they're good for.

1jpb said...

Arturius,

So, when you're saying he was escorted to the press conference you're saying he was escorted to a prime seat once he arrived at the press conference. You're not saying that he was escorted to the press conference, even though you said he was escorted to the press conference.

Got it.

Chase said...

Hey Alpha - we're waiting asshole.

yashu said...

The main reason any equivalency between Gannon & Pitney et al doesn't work is that Gannon was rather an *exception*-- 1 (small, obscure) transparently pro-Bush reporter amid a press corps that was (mostly) overhelmingly, aggressively, sometimes ridiculously hostile to Bush (Helen Thomas anyone?)... or at any rate, a press corps who overall took "their historical role as watchdogs" seriously. (And then Gannon was personally destroyed for it. I won't go into how homophobic & vicious the whole thing was.)

The Milbank quote cited by Instapundit continues: 'But yesterday wasn’t so much a news conference as it was a taping of a new daytime drama, “The Obama Show.” Missed yesterday’s show? Don’t worry: On Wednesday, ABC News will be broadcasting “Good Morning America” from the South Lawn (guest stars: the president and first lady), “World News Tonight” from the Blue Room, and a prime-time feature with Obama from the East Room.'

The point, in other words, isn't so much Pitney *per se*, but Pitney as symptomatic of a larger whole-- e.g., the fact that the majority of the press, entire news organizations & networks, are functioning transparently as Obama infomercials, cheerleaders, and courtiers. In the case of ABC, "staging" the news, literally, from & at the White house. (Or cf. the cover of the NYT on any given day. E.g., the very flawed "poll" on health care.) A press, the majority of whom, far from aggressively questioning, actively ignore or cover up stories Obama doesn't like (eg the IG firing)-- or meekly back down when Obama's "too busy" to answer.

There's no "like Bush" here.

madawaskan said...

Since Pitney is a bona fide reporter ...that works for HuffPo-

I think that's the problem unfortunately-this guy might really be doing some good reporting but a "bona fide reporter" and Huffpo-that's a little like saying a virgin worked for Heidi Fleiss...

I mean it could happen but the bona fides are a little "questionable".

former law student said...

Look at the idiocy they are trying to spread.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!"

elHombre said...

Has there ever been an era of obsessive perception management by a government that was not a prelude to despotism?

I am even getting "certified authentic" emails from Michelle and Barack the Superhero telling me how to be a dad and to "roll up my sleeves" and become a volunteer.

Great God Almighty! Are la Senora and I being recruited to become part of the Obot Hive Mind?

bagoh20 said...

Alpha Liberal said: "won't be seeing much from me in these parts."


Ann, I suggest you add a line on the header advertising this:

"Now Alpha free, half the comments, with twice the insight."

Chase said...

Better read that scripture over and over again out loud fls - absolutely NO ONE believes that you even give a shit about anything the Bible has to say, you amoral prick.

Arturius said...

Arturius,

So, when you're saying he was escorted to the press conference you're saying he was escorted to a prime seat once he arrived at the press conference. You're not saying that he was escorted to the press conference, even though you said he was escorted to the press conference.


I apologize. I was simply reiterating what Pitney claimed on HuffPo's website. He thanked the White House staff for escorting him to the front of the crowded press room. Unless that kind of personalized treatment is provided to other non-disabled reporters, I do find it rather remarkable. For a reporter that isn't a plant that is.

I hope that clears things up.

Lem said...

Fox is in seventh heaven.

Arturius said...

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.


Other than violating Godwin's Law, I think invoking Scripture is the next sign that you have no valid argument left.

Pogo said...

I only ask that they start sending out the script from these "press conferences" at least one hour before they take place, so the scripted responses are also in place.

Jim said...

Arturius -

As with Obama quoting the Koran during his Cairo speech, fls has no idea of the context of his quotation.

In Obama's speech, he selected quotes from a section of the Koran which specifically incites the true believer to jihad and is justification for such. He and/or his speechwriters had no idea what the greater context of what he was saying he was. Unless, of course, someone here would like to claim that Obama intentionally was sending some kind of coded message to Muslims that he also believed in jihad.

In Jesus' day, the scribes and Pharisees were the authoritarian statists of the time. They were essentially secular figures who pretended to worship J-h-v-h but were essentially just power-hungry thieves stealing money from the masses. It was a warning to them that they paid attention to accumulating wordly power and materialism at the cost of their immortal souls.

In short, He was talking about the modern-day Leftists.

People who don't understand Scripture really shouldn't embarrass themselves by broadcasting their ignorance.

Shanna said...

The point, in other words, isn't so much Pitney *per se*, but Pitney as symptomatic of a larger whole

This is not a huge deal and probably would not have been discussed except for the fact that todays is ABC's OBAMA ROCKS DAY! No other opinions allowed on ABC today, even if bought and paid for.

1jpb said...

Arturius,

Thanks for the correction.

I have seen that he said the following on Huff Po:
"Thanks also to the White House staff. They were up front about not being able to assure that a question would be asked, they never asked what the question would be, and they helped me move through the very packed briefing room when I showed up a bit late (sorry to the many toes I stepped on getting through)."

But, I had not seen that he was escorted to the press conference by the WH staff. So that would have been news to me. It seems that Jim does still claim to have proof that Nico was escorted to the press conference because he included this assertion in his bold type question, which he is very proud of.

garage mahal said...

In short, He was talking about the modern-day Leftists..

Oh come Jim now you've really crossed the line - we all know in our hearts Jesus was dirty hippie. Long hair, sandals, hanging out with poor people and whores. Well, hanging out with whores might be a GOP thing, but still....

Lem said...

This is really not what it seemed. The reason why it was so poorly orchestrated was so the herd would notice and report on it.

Report on it and give Huffpo a plug. The president of US pitching a favorable website.

NKVD said...

Barney Frank doesn't need to hang out with whores - they show up at his house.

Minzo said...

"Every liberal defending this the HuffPo is a lying sack of chicken shit, and should be rounded up and used for target practice because they are useless, non-productive, talking out of their ass human beings who continually do damage to this country and it's decent people."

And its LIBERALS that are deranged eh? Christ...

Chase said...

garage quoting the Bible - what a jerk. has he even read it - or is it just like everything else libtards do - someone else tells them what it says.

Chase said...

And where did that chicken shit Alpha Liberal go - the guy who says shit he can't possibly begin to back up?

former law student said...

It was a warning to them that they paid attention to accumulating wordly power and materialism at the cost of their immortal souls.

In short, He was talking about the modern-day Leftists.

Yep, the wealthier a person is, the more likely he is to be a Leftist. That's why the Left backed W. and his tax cuts so much. Jesus opposed the accumulation of wealth (camels, needles' eyes, give up all that you have and follow him) so of course he was Right-wing.

I'm going to sit quietly for a while till my head stops spinning.

Jim said...

garage -

I didn't say liberals. He would probably be considered socially progressive, but when NOW, GLAAD and the NAACP became arms of the Democratic Party rather than advocates for civil rights they're no longer socially progressive either.

Jesus wouldn't have gotten involved in politics at all. He specifically avoided it all costs. The warning that Jesus was issuing in the quote fls posted was specifically against what you and your fellow Leftists here have been doing all day: engaging in hypocrisy and deception in the pursuit of the accumulation of worldly power.

Take it for what it's worth. But obviously neither you nor fls are qualified to comment on Scripture since you haven't a clue what the message there is.

You are really out of your depth here even more so than before. Stop digging.

Chase said...

Yea Minzo it's basically amoral liberals. You're getting it.

Chase said...

You are really out of your depth here even more so than before. Stop digging.

Amen.

fls hasn't even come close to understanding it. Nice try amoral liberals. Maybe if he read it for himself instead of listening to what his politically amoral friends and idols say, he'd start getting a clue.

But don't bet on it. Liberals would rather stop, squat, shit and then say that was their contribution to the "conversation".

Shanna said...

Oh come Jim now you've really crossed the line - we all know in our hearts Jesus was dirty hippie. Long hair, sandals, hanging out with poor people and whores.

Heh. He also hung out with the tax collector. What does that make him :) (for the record, I am on the Jesus is apolitical train)

And its LIBERALS that are deranged eh? Christ...

I’m not too familiar with this commenter, but he is a bit over the top.

Jim said...

fls -

"Jesus opposed the accumulation of wealth (camels, needles' eyes, give up all that you have and follow him) so of course he was Right-wing."

He opposed obsession with things of this world which is exactly what the Left does with its secularity and endless drive to eliminate Christianity from public life.


He didn't object to wealth per se: He objected to those who only thought of accumulating it without regard to improving their character and attending to their spiritual needs. He never said that those who accumulated wealth because of their hard work weren't welcome in Heaven. Yet another case where you don't understand a word of what is being said.

I'm not going to waste my breath explaining to you in how many ways Leftist policies violate Scriptural teaching because: a) you're not interested in finding out, and b) it wouldn't make a difference anyway.

Your knowledge of the Scriptures consists of pulling a couple of quotes and trying to use them to "zing" your opponents in a political disagreement. If you think that's the purpose of Scripture, then you are truly worthy of pity.

You should really stop because every time you open your yap on the subject you're proving how little you know about the subject. Seriously. Stop digging.

former law student said...

He also hung out with the tax collector. What does that make him :)

Yes, Jesus hung out with pariahs and other sinners -- without preconditions.

I am on the Jesus is apolitical train)

I wouldn't read too much into the "Render to Caesar" story. King Herod wanted to kill him as a newborn, and the Romans finally did kill him. I think Jesus didn't want to stir up trouble until his work here was done.

Dylan said...

This comment thread is ridiculous.

Pitney asked Iranians to submit questions that he could ask of Obama during the press conference. Obama, knowing this had taken place, thought that it was something that should be given a voice to. He notified Pitney he'd be calling on him and Pitney asked one of the questions.

And the argument that has been waged against that in this thread is, "Yeah, right."

I'm sorry, but that is not a good argument and the honus is on you to prove it otherwise.

I gotta say, Ann - I do love how you rouse rabble. I mean, I hate it, but you are consistent and it's hard not to kind've love it too.

Jim said...

Perfect example of what I was talking about: the founder of the Chick-Fil-A chain.

I have no doubt that he and his family are wealthy people, and for the record I have no idea what party affiliation he holds.

However, the company's charter includes a dedication to doing Christian work, support for his employees and a strong work ethic.

I've never been to a dirty Chick-Fil-A or had an employee who treated me or my family badly. The service is always fast and the food is good.

I have no doubt that Jesus would approve of the principles that this man apparently lives his life by: being a Christian by example and treating his employees fairly.

Yet he is a wealthy man. Just proof that fls is beyond clueless here.

former law student said...

He didn't object to wealth per se: He objected to those who only thought of accumulating it without regard to improving their character and attending to their spiritual needs. He never said that those who accumulated wealth because of their hard work weren't welcome in Heaven. Yet another case where you don't understand a word of what is being said.

I'm going to have to get a copy of the New Republican Bible, the one with the camel flying through the eye of the needle on the front cover. In mine it says

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

NKVD said...

The "honus" is on us? Wagner? The card or the player?

1jpb said...

17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Jim said...

Dylan -

You've gotten the chicken and egg precisely backwards. Pitney solicited questions because Obama asked him to appear, not vice versa.

Again, I will repeat, if Obama had been above board and said that he had asked Pitney to be there there wouldn't be a problem. It was the attempt at deception that's the problem.


So, in your parlance, the burden of the onus has been met. What say you?

Marcia said...

fls and j1pj -- It's all in where you end the quote. Right after what you quoted:

"When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, 'Who then can be saved?'

Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"

Jim said...

fls -

This is the last post I'll make on the discussion because you don't even have a child's level of understanding of the subject.

The key graph:

"how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God"

It's not the riches that are the problem. It's the TRUST IN THE RICHES that is the problem.

The man in the story went away because he wasn't willing to give up his trust of the riches over the Word of God. He valued his wealth over God: that is a sin.

I'll go slow so you understand:

It's...not...having...wealth...that...is...the...problem...

It...is...loving...your...money...more...than...you...love...God.

I know children still going through Sunday school who can understand this basic concept. The Scripture isn't a cheap political weapon to be wielded by the ignorant and unskilled. You debase the Scripture when you try to use it the way you do.

I'll not engage you further on this: your claims to Scripture are insulting and you're wasting my time.

Jim said...

the last part of my sentence got cut off...It should have read

"It is loving money more than you love God that is the problem."

Shanna said...

I am on the Jesus is apolitical train)

I wouldn't read too much into the "Render to Caesar" story.


That story is not the reason I think Jesus was apolitical.

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

There is also a parable about the guy who gave three men some money and how he was happy with the ones who took it and made more money, and displeased with the one who stuck it in the sand. The bible is not anti-money, it just doesn’t want you to love money or trust in money (as Jim mentioned).

former law student said...

the founder of the Chick-Fil-A chain.

is a Southern Baptist. The Southern Baptists were particularly known for their unique school of Bible interpretation. Northern Baptists kicked them out after the Southerners found a Divine permission to own slaves in the Bible.

Jeremy said...

Obama's opening up the forum to the bloggers...and this doesn't compare to Gannon being allowed in without credentials...especially considering the Republican's "family values" bullshit the spread around like manure.

The only reason Queen Ann is upset is because she wasn't the one invited.

Boo-Fucking-Hoo.

*Hey, has anybody heard this new country ballad coming out of South Carolina:

"I've Spent The Last Five Days Of My Life Crying In Argentina"...

...it's going to be a real classic.

Jeremy said...

Jim said..."I think this was a huge strategic blunder by Obama."

Right.

Much like all of the other horrible blunders you spend your entire waking life pointing out.

Quit bitching and whining, weasel...you sound like a little baby.

1jpb said...

Marcia,

And how did Jesus say one is w/ God? This is when you read the preceding text.

But, whatever. I could not care less if you want to believe that the point of this passage is that Jesus didn't mean the earlier text. Presumably you feel that the earlier text which describes what it is to be w/ God is irrelevant, meaningless fancy talk. Jesus was just using filler, as you see it.

[I just bought a sixth car a few weeks ago (one more and I'll have one for every day of the week) and I live in multiple houses. So, I shouldn't have a problem w/ Marcia's interpretation.]

Shanna said...

Whoops, I had a comment that got eaten, but basically my point is that the bible has a lot of advice on money, mostly charging us to be good stewards, which is a lesson our politicans could stand to learn.

Shanna said...

the founder of the Chick-Fil-A chain.

is a Southern Baptist. The Southern Baptists were particularly known for their unique school of Bible interpretation. Northern Baptists kicked them out after the Southerners found a Divine permission to own slaves in the Bible.


Oh come on! I'm pretty sure Chick Filet was founded post civil war, so is that really relevant? Don't be a jerk, just to be a jerk!

knox said...

This is one kuckoo thread.

former law student said...

This is the last post I'll make on the discussion because you don't even have a child's level of understanding of the subject.

The key graph:

"how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God"

It's not the riches that are the problem. It's the TRUST IN THE RICHES that is the problem.

Curious for one who purports to understand the Bible.

Matthew does not say that "the TRUST IN THE RICHES" is the problem.

Luke does not say that "the TRUST IN THE RICHES" is the problem.

Gospels according to Mark that were translated after King James's day do not say that "the TRUST IN THE RICHES" is the problem.

Only one of three gospels, in one -- early -- English translation, does.

Were we talking about "straining out gnats and swallowing camels"?

I think we were.

Synova said...

I don't see the problem since I reject the "holy calling" version of journalism anyway. As far as I can tell the "professional" journalists are a sorry excuse at best. Why shouldn't a president take questions from whom he or she wants to take questions? What sacred cow is being gored by a "press conference" that has people in it asking questions?

We've had "journalists" asking Obama what delighted him most, fer pete's sake.

They should shake it up a bit... only let any given publication have a seat for one of their people only every other press conference and reserve at least half of the seats for people like Pitney or Gannon or some random blogger or small town news papers or television news.

We end up with the same people asking the same questions and Helen Thomas (is she dead yet?) using her "questions" to lecture the president instead of ask questions.

The rest of us would be better served and better informed by a new mix of tough questions *and* easy questions and a whole heck of a lot *less* emphasis on how some "professional" journalist is uniquely worthy, lofty, and profoundly able to represent us and ask questions for us.

It's stupid.

And every single last time someone refers to Gannon as a "fake" journalist without "credentials" and besides he was GAY and therefore a bad person... my hope for this country dies a little.

Even so, I refuse to believe that a majority of us (yet) are looking for worthy people, properly educated, credentialed, and better-than-we are people, to subsume our individual reason to.

It's not really *surprising* that those who are most in control of the public dialog have *told* us that they are specially capable and regular people need not get uppity and think that any old former-escort can do their jobs just as well. It's just surprising that anyone *believes* them.

Jim said...

1jpb -

"[I just bought a sixth car a few weeks ago (one more and I'll have one for every day of the week) and I live in multiple houses. So, I shouldn't have a problem w/ Marcia's interpretation.]"

If you don't love those cars more than you love God (or your family or your neighbor), then it's not a problem.

On the other hand, if God appeared to you one day and asked you to give them up (as in the story) and you said "Nope. I like my cars too much. Sorry God, take a hike." then yeah it's a problem.

Jeremy said...

Jim - Which God are you talking about?

Chase said...

Poor attempt Jim. You lose.

Chase said...

Fucking Jeremy. Like he know's anything. Go off yourself and make the world a better place shithole.

Jeremy said...

Speaking of God and Jesus...and doing the right things in life...

What does everybody think of the idiot in South Carolina pumping his girlfriend in Argentina?

Is this some kind of Latin variation on the "family values" theme?

Jeremy said...

Chase - Which God are you talking about?

Oh, and fuck off, little man.

Shanna said...

Yo, Jeremy, there are two whole threads to talk about the idiot from SC. That's why no one else is talking about it here.

Synova said...

Must be nice to be a liberal, Jeremy.

You just *embrace* the cheating, and that makes it okay.

Can't be called on "family values" when your "family values" is aborting the by-blows of consequence free sex.

Quite comfortable for you, I'm sure.

former law student said...

And every single last time someone refers to Gannon as a "fake" journalist without "credentials" and besides he was GAY and therefore a bad person... my hope for this country dies a little.

If the synovian policy of opening up press conferences to members of the general public had been in place, no one would have criticized "Gannon" for his lack of experience and lack of credentials.

But I'm not as much a Christian as synova is -- I still look down upon people whose web page consists of offers to exchange sex for money.

Jim said...

Chase -

Poor attempt at what?

If you're saying it was a poor attempt at interpreting Scripture, then maybe your church's teachings tell you that unless you're poor you don't love God. That may be what your church says, but that's not what Scripture says.

1jpb said...

Jim,

Jesus didn't personally stop by today. I'm guessing that he'd know which house to go to if he wanted find me and ask for my stuff. So, it's all good.

Chase said...

Jim - I meant to say

"poor attempt fls".

My apologies (something you'll never hear from the amoral liberals who shit here).

Liberals using the Bible - that;s the definition of irony.

Chase said...

Jim - I meant to say

"poor attempt fls".

My apologies (something you'll never hear from the amoral liberals who shit here).

Liberals using the Bible - that;s the definition of irony.

Jeremy said...

Synova said..."Must be nice to be a liberal, Jeremy. You just *embrace* the cheating, and that makes it okay."

The Democrats aren't the one touting their "family values" bullshit.

Your comment makes no sense...as usual.

Shanna - (This thread is supposed to be about Obama throwing a bone to a blogger...so what does God have to do with it?)

Oh, and since you're such an expert on God...which one are YOU talking about?

Jim and Chase don't know for sure...

Chase said...

Jeremy claims to be a Bible expert - I don't. But any libtard trying to use the Bible in support of any of their amoral worldviews is the funniest thing in history.

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