Oooh. Now my famous brother — yes, that's the one who got attacked on O'Reilly — is really famous: Wonkette lends her acid keyboard to a White House correspondent who doesn't like whippersnappers snapping at his heels. WH Correspondents: Lame and Vain, Maybe. Stupid? Let's See.
Wonkette's item is of course scathingly funny—as long as you don't think about it. When you do, it seems like a pity that the White House poodle on whom she relies thinks he's doing such an optimum job that he doesn't need to change. Lots of us out here in readerland kinda have a different view, you know? (Roll Over. Play Dead. Good doggie.)
Your brother’s piece telling White House reporters how to ask questions was a classic waste of bandwidth—it doesn’t matter what the questions are, or who asks them. What DOES matter is how the answers are reported.
If reporters want more information out of the white house, their reporting has to indicate that the information and answers they are getting are insufficient and/or deceptive. Use of the words, “evaded the question”, “refused to answer” should be a standard part of any report at this point.
Paul, your point is well-taken that reporters should indicate that the information and answers they are getting are insufficient and/or deceptive. Use of the words, “evaded the question”, “refused to answer” should be a standard part of any report at this point.
But surely it also matters if the questions reporters asking are strong ones? I disagree with the substance of the first sentence of your post even when I get past the opening, where you seem to go out of your way to be personally rude.
The fact is that hard questions are asked at press conferences (Helen Thomas is a classic example) and are evaded. Perhaps a case can be made that the reason the evasion is not cited by a WH press corp person is that they didn’t ask the question itself (i.e. they promote the answers to the questions that they ask), and that Dan Froomkin’s suggestions re: White House questions was a “backdoor” way of getting reporters to acknowledged the evasions and misrepresentations, but I don’t think so. I think Dan believes the problem is the lack of hard questions—and it isn’t.
As for the personal rudeness issue….it wasn’t meant to be personally rude. Dan Froomkin has, in fact, been very supportive of the research I did on the AWOL issue, and I am very grateful for that support. Upon rereading my comment, I understand where you would get the impression that the use of “your brother” was questionable at best—but it wasn’t intended that way. I have on occassion corresponded with both Michael and Dan Froomkin, and (perhaps presumptuously) feel I have a “cyber-relationship” with both to some extent. I was responding to Michael as a person, not as a “blogger” per se…and used the phrase “your brother” with the assumption that he (Michael) would not take offense because of that (perhaps presumptive) relationship.
What I should have written was “Dan Froomkin’s piece….was a classic waste of bandwidth”…but Michael identified Dan as his brother, and that is how I referred to him.