Brown Scolds Obama: You Can't Choose Questions You'll Answer

For the second time since Election Day, CNN's Campbell Brown admonished president-elect Barack Obama for his poor press conference etiquette.

During the "Cutting Through the Bull" segment of Wednesday's "No Bias, No Bull," Brown expressed  anger with Obama's treatment of a Chicago Tribune reporter the previous day saying it's "all the more surprising that you could act testy, annoyed, or intolerant of any question you get" from "a media that many believe has been more than friendly towards you."

Frankly, Campbell should go back and study her Mary Shelley to understand the delicious irony in her dismay, but I digress (video embedded below the fold along with partial transcript, file photo):

CAMPBELL BROWN, HOST: But, first, as always, "Cutting Through The Bull" tonight, it goes without saying, the media is annoying. It is the media's job to be annoying, especially those members of the media assigned to cover the president, or, in this case, the president-elect.

Their role is not to support president-elect Obama, but to challenge him, to do their best to hold him accountable. And this week, no doubt, they are annoying Obama with daily questions about Rod Blagojevich and his allegedly trying to sell Obama's Senate seat and the role of certain members of Obama's team.

Here was the exchange Obama had yesterday with a reporter from "The Chicago Tribune."


QUESTION: You told us at your first press conference after the election that you were going to take a very hands-off approach to filling that spot. Over the weekend, "The Tribune" reported that Rahm Emanuel, your incoming chief of staff, had presented a list of potential names...


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT-ELECT: John (ph), John, let me -- let me just cut you off, because I don't want to waste your question.

As I indicated yesterday, we have done a full review of this. The facts are going to be released next week. It would be inappropriate for me to comment, because, for example, the story that you just talked about in your own paper, I haven't confirmed that it was accurate, and I don't want to get into the details at this point.

So, do you have another question?


BROWN: Mr. President-elect, this is the second time now I have observed you doing this, cutting off a reporter because the question didn't suit you.

Mr. President-elect, this sort of approach reminds a lot of us of the current administration now packing up to go, and it frankly doesn't fly in a democracy. You don't get to choose the questions you get asked at a news conference. That is not the way it works, even with a media that many believe has been more than friendly towards you, which makes it all the more surprising that you could act testy, annoyed, or intolerant of any question you get.

You have an extraordinarily high approval rating right now. People in this country who voted against you are pulling for you. These are desperate times for many Americans. And most of this country wants you to succeed.

But you will not succeed if you discard the very ideals you promoted during your campaign, directness, honesty, candor, transparency, openness. You made a deal with the prosecutor to keep a lid on certain information about this investigation until next week. Fine.

But that doesn't give you a blanket excuse to dismiss any and all questions associated with Blagojevich or anything else. You were the one who embraced openness. You could stand to be a little more open to it.

It seems Brown and her fellow Obama-enablers didn't understand the monster they were creating would hurt them along with all others in his path.

I'd laugh my head off if it wasn't so frightening.

*****Update: Either is having problems with its videos this evening, or I'm not understanding their HTML code. If the embedded video isn't working, try this

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.