WSJ editorial page advertises its ignorance

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Today, it's in the form of a brief editorial (no link found) headlined "Obama's Press List," which chastised Obama for referring to a list of reporters he was going to call on during his Monday press conference

The President was running down a list of reporters pre-selected to ask questions. the White House had decided in advance who would be allowed to question the President and who was left out.

We actually agree with the main point; that presidents ought not to use cheat sheets at press conferences for the simple task of calling on reporters. (It tends to cheapen the process.) But the Journal then immediately drove into a ditch when it claimed Obama's predecessor would have never done something like that:

We doubt that President Bush, who was notorious for being parsimonious with follow-ups, would have gotten away with pre-screening his interlocutors.

Except, of course, when Bush did pre-screen his queries, like during his primetime news conference on the eve of war with Iraq in 2003. From Lapdogs [emphasis added]:

At one point while making his way through the press questioners, Bush awkwardly referred to a list of reporters who he was instructed to call on. "This is scripted," he joked. The press laughed. But Bush meant it was scripted, literally. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer later admitted he compiled Bush's cheat sheet, which made sure he did not call on reporters from some prominent outlets like Time, Newsweek, USA Today, or The Washington Post.

Posted In
Government, The Presidency & White House
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.