Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 10, 2009


Craig Crawford, CQ -
President Barack Obama's first prime-time press conference was most remarkable for how he borrowed a page from his predecessor, refusing to accept follow-up questions. It might seem like a petty issue, but it was significant and telling that George W. Bush would not allow follow-up questions in his sessions with reporters. follow-up question is a crucial part of getting information that the people have a right to know. Until Bush, presidents since Calvin Coolidge had allowed reporters to ask another question based upon the answer to the first question. Often that first answer is a dodge, an attempt to stick to a talking point or a scripted answer. Only by asking the follow-up question can evasive answers be explored.

In last night's press conference, Obama cut off any attempt by reporters to follow up his answers to their questions. If he intends to maintain this Bush policy, reporters must work together and agree to ask the obvious follow-up to the previous question as they take their turns. Otherwise, these press conferences are nothing but one-sided speeches.


Anonymous robbie said...

I'm sorry but there is no comparison. George Bush couldn't even take the questions he did allow, then bitched about having to answer questions. I don't like Obama all that much and didn't vote for him, but there's no question that he's far more intelligent and able to answer tough questions on the fly.

February 11, 2009 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so proud and excited about his election, but
words must be followed by actions. You cant believe that he is dodging questions about bailing out the banks? REALLY? duh! Of course he is!
I cant believe that Obama is proposing something as offensive as issuing another bailout to!
His father must be ashamed.
If MORE money BORROWED from other countries is the solution to our FINANCIAL crisis of DEBIT in America, it should be directed to government run programs which produce JOBS. It shouldn't bail out big companies, it should improve environmental and peace efforts globally helping the people it was INTENDED to help. NOT rich rulers, but the real Americans who first said NO MORE RULERS TAKING OUR MONEY , and took off to a new land to make sure it NEVER happened again.
This should never be a country people want to come to because were rich... it should be a country the WORLD honors because of its truth and JUSTICE! Where is americas justice?
How soon we forget our right to overthrow any government threatening the people it is intended to help. How sad.
Wheres our pride?
Wheres our REVOLUTION!!! ? ? ? ? ? ?

February 11, 2009 11:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home