Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's Hard Out Here For A ...

In his hour long news conference from the White House briefing room President Obama called on Huffington Post's Nico Pitney. Pitney's live blogging of the uprising in Iran is some of the best I've found on the internet. Here is the reaction from the Villagers:

Reporters typically don’t coordinate their questions for the president before press conferences, so it seemed odd that Obama might have an idea what the question would be. Also, it was a departure from White House protocol by calling on The Huffington Post second, in between the AP and Reuters.

Ben Smith:
The high-profile the administration is giving the left-leaning outlet is a nice case of symbiosis, not entirely unlike the Bush Administration's close ties to Fox, though the president's signal that he'd been briefed on the question in advance was particularly unusual.

Dana Milbank:
Pitney recognized his prompt. "Yes," Pitney said, standing in the aisle and wearing a temporary White House press pass. "I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian."
But you have to read all three pieces to get the entire flavor of this whine fest anlthough Ben Smith is whining so much as he is trying to characterize the Huffington Post as in the tank for Obama.

Arianna Huffington posted a defense of Pitney that gets to the nut of the complaints:

Michael, Dana, and Ben: come in from recess. You guys clearly need a nap. And a better fact-checker.
From the tone and the baseless arguments presented by those fine gentlemen it appears they are butt hurt because someone with a temporary press pass got called on by the POTUS after working tirelessly to cover the uprising in Iran for the past work.

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