President Obama has a remarkable relationship with the White House press corps. He gives fewer press conferences than any President in memory, seldom answers questions, and treats reporters with contempt. He does this, in part, because he knows that the White House press corps loves him. Some would call this an abusive relationship. Byron York writes, “Fawning press now gets cold shoulder from Obama.”
Will Barack Obama go an entire year without holding a formal news conference? He’s getting close: The president’s last full-scale session with the press was on July 22, 2009, which was 307 days ago.
When Obama last held a big news conference, there had not yet been terrorist attacks at Fort Hood, Detroit, and Times Square. Scott Brown was an unknown Massachusetts state senator. There was no national health care bill, much less national health care law. Tiger Woods appeared to be a model family man.
A lot can happen in 307 days, which is far longer than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton ever went between news conferences.
[T]he president does a lot of one-on-one interviews, frequently with sympathetic reporters. But even in terms of brief question-and-answer sessions with the White House press corps, he has still done fewer than Bush or Clinton.
More troubling is that Obama makes no secret of his disdain for the press.
Byron cites the example of the Daniel Pearl press conference, where Obama conceded that reporters have a right to ask questions, but “he just didn’t have to answer them.” White House aides edited this arrogant exchange out of the video they posted on the White House site.
Byron notes that while Obama dodges questions, his press secretary Robert Gibbs stonewalls them. Why does the Obama administration stiff the press so consistently?
Obama treats them with contempt because he knows that when big tests come, they’ve always been on his side. There’s no reason for him to think they won’t be there in the future. “Most of you covered me,” he told the media elite at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. “All of you voted for me.”
That’s the attitude coming out of the Oval Office every day. Why does Obama do it? Because he can.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but in this world there is apparently no milquetoast like a reporter stiffed.