You'd think from the reaction to Daily Caller White House Correspondent Neal Munro's shouted question during President Obama's announcement of de facto amnesty for 30-and-under illegal aliens at the Rose Garden yesterday that it's the first time any reporter has ever shouted a question at a U.S. president out of turn. Friday afternoon, the Daily Caller, Munro's employer, carried his explanation of the incident, as well as sturdy defenses from Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and Publisher Neil Patel.
What follows is some historical perspective ("Why Do Grown Men And Women Shout At President Reagan?") coming from (yes, really) Associated Press writer Christopher Connell in October 1987 which is more than necessary in the circumstances (save here in full for fair use and discussion purposes; key items underlined by me).
Here it is:
Comments on the underlined items:
- Not only did they "do it for a living," they did it almost constantly during Reagan's eight years, almost regardless of the circumstances. It appeared to be a strategy designed to make the president appaer aloof and stand-offish, when by 1987 (which is probably why Connell decided to cover it) it was clear that the press's image had been severely tarnished by its years-long virtually non-stop childishness.
- It got so bad that by Reagan's second term, the press was almost routinely interrupting equivalent presidential functions like the one Robert Bork was involved in as described above.
- I believe it's fair to say that Obama and his apparatchiks have limited direct presidential access to Dear Leader far more than Reagan and his handlers ever did. Shoot, at one point (and I believe it's still the case), Obama's people were deciding ahead of time who in the press would get the privilege of asking him questions.