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Jun 24, 2009


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Just like HuffPo used to accuse Bush of planting questions. Too funny.


Was the question really a plant, or even a softball? "Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of -- of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?" Would it have been too difficult for the WaPo to actually quote the question to let its readers decide if it was a softball?

It is slightly different to pick someone out who will bring a question from someone else who is 'on the ground', than to directly pick someone who will ask a question.

The parallel I see to Iran's election is from the Ukraine a couple years back, but their initial results were much closer. We did not recognize the results and another election was held bringing different results. I would have liked a more forceful response from Obama, and his answer showed that this was a tough question.

Ed Cone

"White House aides had called Pitney the day before to invite him, and they had escorted him into the room. They told him the president was likely to call on him, with the understanding that he would ask a question about Iran that had been submitted online by an Iranian."

Sounds pretty orchestrated to me.

The idea of bringing a question from Iran to the public conversation in this country might be a good one, but it would have been better for Obama to raise it himself than to stage it thusly.


But hyperbole wasn't Milbank's biggest sin. It was repeatedly getting his facts wrong. He claimed: "Pitney had sent what he called a 'solicitation' to the White House." Not true. Nico solicited his readers about questions they'd like to see the president asked about Iran. The White House then contacted him about asking a question at the presser (When Nico pointed out the inaccuracy to Milbank, Milbank promised to correct his post. As of 10:10pm EST, he hasn't... quick to malign; slow to correct).


Yes. Dana Milbank, steadfast, earnest crusader against inside dopester bullshit.


I gotta say that this sort of thing doesn't offend me, whether it's Obama or Bush. The president has one agenda at a news conference, and each reporter has their own. To pretend that it is all a beatific attempt to inform the public is pretty naive. In particular, the questions are aimed at getting a story, something that may or may not reflect reality.

Granted, Obama blundered his way into it. He didn't need to set it up . He should have just called on Pitney. HuffPo people have attended othe Obama news conferences, so his presence shouldn't have shocked anyone.

Perhaps the other people in the room were ticked off because Pitney's Iran reporting puts them to shame.

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