what's softer than a softball?

David Corn, the Washington editor of The Nation, asks that question in a piece that might win a prize for Most Obvious Title: "Newspaper Editors Serve Bush Lame Questions" (which I saw at Common Dreams):
I often watch presidential press conferences and find myself shouting at the television: "Don't ask that!...That's a dumb question!...Follow up, follow up!...Come on, don't let him off the hook!"

I realize it's not always easy to press a president in these controlled and staged settings, and most members of the White House press corps are encumbered, rightly or wrongly, by a certain sense of decorum. If a president says something wrong, misleading, false, evasive or stupid, they do not feel empowered to reply, "Excuse me, Mr. President, but that simply is not so. Can you please give us a straight and direct answer?" For those Americans who look to the Fourth Estate to hold--or try to hold--the politicians accountable, White House reporters tend to disappoint. But these journalists are outright ferocious when compared to newspaper editors--judging from Bush's Q&A session Thursday at the annual convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. [Emphasis mine.]
Corn goes on to deconstruct that press conference. Since I never watch W on TV - except via Jon Stewart - this was horrifyingly educational. Read it here. Corn is also the author of The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception.


Rognar said...

Wiffle ball? Beach ball?

laura k said...

And nerf ball. When journalists ask easy questions, it's called throwing a softball. Corn says they're lobbing Bush nerf balls.

Anonymous said...

I think they're blowing bubbles in his face. Beautiful, shiny bubbles that Bush can delicately balance on his fingertips before popping. Press conferences are happy times. Everyone loves bubbles.


Anonymous said...

All White House press conferences are nothing other than a sham to make whoever happens to be in power look good within their own crapulence.

It is just a way to get the general public to accept what El Prez has to say no matter how ignorant, off-topic, or just plain stupid it happens to be.

Remember, GenPub is largely stupid ... trained sheep ... the TV culture which cannot live without the tube, who rushes home to let Springer tell them how to live, the OC tell them what to wear, FastFoodCorporate tell them what to eat, and the rest of the ads tell them what else to spend their money on.

So if the reporter in the suit validates whatever answer the Big Cheese gives (and they always do), then it must be the truth. After all, it's on TV. And that is always real.

laura k said...

Still, there are all degrees. This administration has taken lying, disinformation and secrecy to an absolutle mania. They have the media in tow more than is even typical.

I can remember Clinton press conferences where he was nearly raked over the coals (relatively speaking). You'll never see that done to Bush.

As for sheeple, the more ignorant they are, the easier to lead them to slaughter. That's why the real humans (all present company included) have to keep at it.