After watching this video of the press fighting back against the White House's fake townhalls and pre-screened questions, one almost feels pity for poor Robert Gibbs failing at his job. Mitchell Blatt's post covers the topic well and includes a transcript of the exchange, but CNS News got a little more from Helen Thomas:
“Nixon didn’t try to do that,” Thomas said. “They couldn’t control (the media). They didn’t try. “What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Thomas said. “They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them.” Thomas said she was especially concerned about the arrangement between the Obama Administration and a writer from the liberal Huffington Post Web site. The writer was invited by the White House to President Obama’s press conference last week on the understanding that he would ask Obama a question about Iran from among questions that had been sent to him by people in Iran. “When you call the reporter the night before you know damn well what they are going to ask to control you,” Thomas said. “I’m not saying there has never been managed news before, but this is carried to fare-thee-well–for the town halls, for the press conferences,” she said. “It’s blatant. They don’t give a damn if you know it or not. They ought to be hanging their heads in shame.”
Here is a small roundup of reactions: Stop the ACLU: Ace:
Although both objected to the process, neither remembered to ask about the fact that Obama would know the questions ahead of time. Thus giving a false appearance that he was prepared to answer any question put to him, when in fact he'd already worked out the answers for the questions he chose to ask himself.
Frankly, with ABC holding infomercials for Obama in prime time, it seems almost petty to get exercised about a phony town hall. Exit question: How seriously should we take concerns that Obama’s not facing enough tough questions when voiced by a woman known to wonder why the White House considers Iran a threat?
It is fun to watch Gibbs completey fail at his job.