The heckling of President Obama by a Daily Caller reporter today is just the beginning, I fear. Make no mistake; this episode had nothing to do with getting a question answered. The Right will do whatever it takes to make the President seem weak and small and inept, and the reporter, Neil Munro, was just playing his part for the Cause.
The Daily Caller is unrepentant, btw. Their excuse is that the reporter thought the President was finishing his remarks. Tucker Carlson added,
“A reporterâ€™s job is to ask questions and get answers. Our job is to find out what the federal government is up to. Politicians often donâ€™t want to tell us. A good reporter gets the story. Weâ€™re proud of Neil Munro.â€
I sincerely hope the Daily Caller doesn’t get a White House press pass for the next decade. But this is going to keep happening, in any venue into which the Right can get an operative.
By shouting out and repeatedly interrupting the president during a speech, Mr. Munro violated decorum at the White House and generated online shouts of disapproval from other reporters, analysts and historians. The incident took place two weeks after the presidentâ€™s top strategist, David Axelrod, was nearly drowned out at a campaign event by hecklers who had come to support Mitt Romney. …
…Mr. Obama had only been speaking for about five minutes when Mr. Munro first shouted. He continued speaking for another five minutes afterward.
Mr. Munro did not specify what he shouted, but other reporters who were present said the initial question was, â€œMr. President, why do you favor foreign workers over Americans?â€
Earlier, the editor in chief of The Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson, defended Mr. Munroâ€™s behavior as an act of journalism. Mr. Carlson, who was on an airplane at the time of the presidential statement, said he had not seen the incident, but â€œas far as Iâ€™m concerned, not having seen it, as a general matter, reporters are there to ask questions.â€
He added, â€œNo politician wants to answer questions, but thatâ€™s not our concern.â€
Mr. Carlson, whose site has highlighted what it calls liberal media bias, said he expected the â€œObama worshipers in the pressâ€ to attack Mr. Munro. When told that his reporter was being called a heckler, Mr. Carlson answered, â€œThatâ€™s what itâ€™s called when you try to get the president to answer your question?â€
Iâ€™m not one to revere the imperial presidency, but itâ€™s unbelievable how wingnuts treat this man with such unprecedented and bullying disrespect: from Rep. Joe Wilson screaming â€œYou lieâ€ during Obamaâ€™s 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress, to Speaker John Boehner denying him his choice of dates for another congressional address (for the first time in history) last fall, to Donald Trumpâ€™s persistent, humiliating demands for the president to show him his papers (with no rebuke from ally Mitt Romney). And for right-wingers who insist Democrats are too quick to cry racism: Really, what else explains this constant, in-your-face (literally) contempt for a president?
Certainly they disrespected President Clinton, too, but never with such in-person abuse. Clinton was impeached after a political witch hunt and treated poorly even by the so-called liberal media, but he was never stalked into the Rose Garden or congressional chambers and heckled, as Obama has been.
The Right thinks it is justified in disrespecting the President, because liberals are mean to them. This is going to keep happening.