Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Scripted President

Ronald Reagan was an actor before he went into politics.

Barack Obama was an actor when he ran for president . . . and he's still acting.

Earlier this week, Obama held the first news conference of his presidency and spoke, get this, with the aid of a teleprompter, visible in the photograph shown here.  But that's old news.  Haven't we known since the campaign that Obama loses much of his "appeal" off script?

Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Obama even scripted the reporters allowed to ask questions at that news conference.  (Link here.)

Preselecting the "journalists" allowed to question the president at a news conference is appalling.  It almost certainly ensures that nothing too difficult will be asked.  After all, the president's team knows who is friendly to their boss and who is not.  And, as the Journal points out, this process "disciplines" reporters and keep them in line.

And preselecting one's interrogators allows for one other possibility . . . scripted questions provided surreptitiously to the president in advance.  I haven't seen a suggestion that that has happened, yet.  But does anybody doubt that Obama's friends in the media would do it, and keep it quiet, if he asked?

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