On Reliable Sources this morning, Howard Kurtz brings on Huffington Post's Nico Pitney to deal with two naysayers eager to scream "collusion!" over Nico's question to President Obama this week regarding the Iranian election: WaPo's Dana Milbank and TownHall's Amanda Carpenter. The fact that hyper-partisan Carpenter is even asked her opinion shows how little interest Kurtz had in an honest dialog. Seriously, Amanda, the video shows Nico in the back of the room behind other reporters--your complaining about Nico being "pushed to the front of the room" is discredited just like all your other "facts"--who you gonna believe? Amanda or your lyin' eyes?
But it's Dana Milbank who really gets his bitchy little knickers in a twist. He starts the segment incredibly defensive. It's hard to tell whether Dana is just miffed that he didn't get called on or that some upstart blogger who doesn't get the same Beltway cocktail party invitations asked a better question than he ever has.
This whole media-created "scandal" is ridiculously inane and smacks of a willful short memory which would be comical if it wasn't supplanting much more important discussions. Um, Howie, Dana, Amanda....does the name "Jeff Gannon" ring a bell? Jamison Foser:
Here's the thing: Nobody is actually claiming that Obama knew what question Pitney was going to ask. The allegations of "coordination" and "staging" are premised on the idea that the Obama folks knew what topic Pitney would ask about - Iran.
Well, it isn't all that unusual for a president to have a pretty good idea what topic a reporter is going to ask about. If you call on a reporter from Stars & Stripes or Army Times, you'll probably get a question relating to the military. Call on a Washington Post reporter, and you'll likely get a question about steroids in baseball or haircuts. Call on a New York Times reporter, and there's a pretty good chance he'll ask what enchants you about the White House. Call on a Huffington Post reporter, and they'll probably ask something a little more substantive.[..]
I'm pretty sure Dana Milbank knew what topic he was going to be asked about when he appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources opposite Pitney today. Ohmygod! Dana Milbank and Howard Kurtz coordinated! It was staged!
Oh, the stoopid hypocrisy. It hurts, doesn't it, Dana?
Just to put this into perspective, think about this. Nico Pitney has spent the last two weeks tirelessly developing sources from inside Iran, aggregating every relevant story available on the internet through every available form of the new communication technology and synthesizing one of the most most difficult and important foreign policy stories of the decade.
Dana Milbank has spent the same period bitching about the "low press" getting to ask questions at a press conference and filming snotty little gossip items for his little insider video embarrassment called "Mouthpiece Theatre."
And the newspapers wonder why they're dying. Let me remind all of you that WaPo decided to sack Froomkin, but kept Milbank. So goes the state of "journalism" at the Washington Post.
By the way, when I emailed Nico to congratulate him on a serious smackdown of the Very. Serious. Villager., he shared with me Milbank's comment to him as Kurtz was introducing the next segment: "You're such a dick." You stay classy, Dana.