“The White House often expects the toughest questions from reporters outside of Washington, not the easiest,” he tweeted.
It was White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer who tweeted this message after President Unflappable lost his cool with a reporter from Texas. Pfeiffer was trying to play down the president’s reaction to reporter Brad Watson. But he actually let the cat out of the bag: Washington’s elite press corps doesn’t ask the president hard questions.
Washington is the ultimate destination for a reporter in this country. The best local reporters struggle and connive to get a stint in the Washington bureau and many stay on to become stalwarts of Washington’s press establishment. They may become prominent in the White House Correspondents Association or do a skit at the Gridiron Club. As journalists, they’ve made it when they get that coveted slot in the Washington bureau.
Then there are the posh papers-the Washington Post and the New York Times-and the network bureaus. These are some of the top jobs in American journalism. And yet the Obama White House knows that these stars of journalism are in the president’s pocket. They aren’t going to ask tough questions. That takes a reporter from Texas.
By the way, I think this plays into why the mainstream media so detests Fox, the blogs, and small conservative outlets: they ask tough questions and no longer permit these grand poohbahs of American journalism to control the narrative. Moreover, Mr. Watson’s insta-fame, along with the Pulitzer Committee’s decision to award the prize for editorial writing to Joe Rago of the Wall Street Journal (post immediately below this one), are hopeful signs.