Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 15, 2013/ 5 Shevat, 5773

White House Press Corps Going Through the Motions

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You know that old saying that there are no dumb questions? It's not true. I know. As a journalist, I've asked my share of stupid questions. Yet even in the context of my own shortcomings, I do not understand what the White House press corps is thinking during what passes for a news conference in the Obama White House.

Consider Monday's news conference. The last presser of President Barack Obama's first term spanned 53 minutes. Seven reporters asked questions -- after Obama called on them as if according to script. In his fashion, Obama answered a couple.

There's a law of verbal physics: The longer the question the less likely it is to be answered. Yet White House reporters rehearse these paragraph-length sentences, adding context the president doesn't need and clauses that bury the lead. Many such questions are so complex that the questioner cannot reasonably expect an answer.

Julie Pace of The Associated Press lobbed the first softball when she asked Obama about gun violence and whether the White House will push for an assault weapons ban. Mistake. For the past month, reporters have been asking the president about guns. He has a library of stock "gun violence" phrases -- "stakeholders," "common-sense steps," "focus on what makes sense." He can answer on autopilot.

Besides, no way was Obama going to answer that question before the vice president could roll out his plan in response to the Newtown, Conn., shootings, which is expected this week.

Major Garrett of CBS noted that as a senator, Obama had voted against raising the debt ceiling. Great point. I wish he had stopped there and asked why it was OK for Obama to oppose a debt hike then and why it is OK for him, when Republicans do the same thing now, to accuse them of kidnapping for ransom.

Instead, Garrett added that Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush agreed to deals that combined raising the debt ceiling and curbing the deficit. Could Obama's refusal to negotiate with Congress lead to default?

And the autopilot kicked in: He's happy to talk, but Republicans expect to win 100 percent.

Also in the "nice try" category, Jackie Calmes of The New York Times asked Obama about his four white, male Cabinet picks -- not very diverse -- and whether this White House has become too insular.

Obama answered that his first Cabinet was diverse; people should wait and see his next Cabinet. And: "We invite folks from Congress over here all the time. And when they choose to come, I enjoy their company." Really? The president said Washington's big problem is that no one will go to the White House, and there were no audible groans from the press gallery.

The pack is out of gas. When reporters ask follow-up questions, you can see they do not expect real answers.

They rarely ask short questions, which are harder to evade. They rarely ask unexpected questions, for which autopilot sound bites cannot hide a non-response. They don't talk out of turn.

It's: Ask a long-winded question. Get a long-winded non-answer.

Repeat.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders' column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2012, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast