The morning after the media's "enchanted" evening with President Obama's 100-day press conference, Media Research Center Director of Research Rich Noyes appeared on the April 30 "America's Newsroom" to do a post-mortem of the media's fawning over the nation's 44th president. [audio excerpt here]
The segment began with a discussion of New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny's fawning question about what enchanted Obama the most in his first 100 days.:
MEGYN KELLY, Fox News anchor: So, you know, it's prime real estate when you get to ask one of these questions as a reporter at these White House press conferences. He doesn't call on all the reporters. Every question counts, and the White House press corps sort of relies on one another to get to the heart of the matter so that all the most important things are asked. Does this qualify? How enchanted he was in his first 100 days?!
RICH NOYES, Media Research Center: I'm not sure if it really does. You're right. I cannot imagine the press asking George W. Bush what enchanted him the most about his time in the White House. I believe their mantra kept asking him to define all his mistakes and apologize for them, was sort of the routine question they'd bring up to him.
NOYES: I think there's a reason why [White House Press Secretary] Robert Gibbs the other day gave the press corps an "A" for their performance. From the White House's perspective, there's nothing to complain about here.This is celebrity coverage. That's the same kind of question you'd ask Princess Di if she was coming to the United States. What enchants you the most about this or something like that.
NOYES: So, I think this was a poor use of a press conference question. I think there were some good questions asked in that press conference as well, but I would say nothing that you'd call a hardball or a tough question. [They were all] basically news-gathering questions, and then you had these softballs that just sort of puffed the president up and made him giggle and laugh and look good.
An MRC study on the media's bias in the first 100 days of the Obama presidency is forthcoming. For some preliminary findings, click here.