Final White House Presser Features Mangled Questions

If media wants more access to President Obama, they need to step up their game.
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In the "most wonderful press conference of the year", questioners spent a lot of time patting themselves on the back and trying desperately to get the president to break down in a puddle of tears over the damage they've done to his credibility in 2013.

New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes gets the award for the most contorted question, where she managed to twist a question about the Affordable Care Act rollout into one about the Senate's push for harsher sanctions on Iran.

Citing the "non-partisan, truth-telling group Politifact," Calmes asked the president about his reaction to their Lie of the Year.

Whoa, hold up there, Jackie. That question assumes facts not in evidence, because we all know Politifact is neither objective nor tells the truth. We also know that Politifact conveniently overlooked insurers' role in the undoing of what was admittedly an overly optimistic and broad promise.

Then things got really weird. Calmes continued on by asserting that the fallout from the healthcare.gov rollout seems to be making Senate Democrats "a little rambunctious and independent" which Calmes claimed "is evidenced most clearly in the debate over the Iran sanctions."

At that point the president interrupted, telling her she was "stringing a bunch of things together" and asking her to hone in on a question. He might have also asked her to decide whether she wanted to talk about Iran or health care.

Calmes wasn't the only reporter framing long-winded questions. Ed Henry delivered a small lecture on the NSA, complete with quotes from the president before finally getting to the gist of his question. Chuck Todd thought it was wise to ask why the president wouldn't delay the ACA individual mandate for a year.

The best question of the entire hour probably came from CNN reporter Brianna Keiler, who asked what his New Years' resolution for 2014 would be. Laughing, President Obama said it was "to be nicer to the White House press corps."

After all their whining, I'm glad he granted them a full hour for self-congratulation. But if this was supposed to be something that informed people, it really wasn't, mostly because the Villagers haven't ventured out far enough to find out what the rest of us care about.


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