Home > Media > White House Interruption: That Was Clown Behavior, Bro

White House Interruption: That Was Clown Behavior, Bro

Neil Munro with Daily Caller (Photo Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

I don’t care who you are or who’s in the White House.  It doesn’t matter if they are a Republican or a Democrat. It is inappropriate to interrupt the President of the United States during prepared remarks as Neil Munro did Friday afternoon during Barack Obama’s Rose Garden announcement about a change of enforcement policies for the children of undocumented parents.

This is not about politics, it’s about decorum. The White House Correspondents Association, Bill O’Reilly and two Fox news anchors were among the many who thought the incident out of bounds and over the top.

Munro works for the Daily Caller, a conservative web site run by Tucker Carlson who I used to work with occasionally at CNN years ago, back when he and Bill Press were the “left-right” commentary couple for the cable news network.  Tucker says he’s proud of Munro, but I’m not sure for what.  I don’t see the big freedom of the press issue that would make Munro some kind of journalism martyr.

Munro claims he didn’t mean to interrupt Obama and that he mistimed his question thinking the President was wrapping up his remarks.  Reporters who were there describe Munro’s claim of accidental timing as a large “cow pie.”  The entire assembled press corps knew the President was nowhere near finished.

This was the question Munro was trying to ask, according to the official White House transcript.  He finally got it all in as the President walked away from reporters following his statement with, ironically, Neil Munro, being the only one who actually got a question answered.

Q    What about American workers who are unemployed while you import foreigners?

Now, there are questions and there are questions.  It is certainly reasonable to ask how adding 800,000 children of immigrants to the work force might complicate the jobless situation.  But then there’s “while you import foreigners.”  That reveals ideology and agenda.  Mr. Munro did not give the appearance of being much of a reporter in this incident.  He may write words that get published on a web site, but on Friday he was a provocateur.

I actually think the President should hold more news conferences and answer more questions.  Neil Munro should ask whatever he likes, respecting the long-established protocols of his profession.  But besides being rude, he cut in line.  Ask your questions at the end just like everybody else.  And if the President walks away and it seems he doesn’t answer questions often enough for you- report that.

The question and the opinion it was drenched in was not really a question- it seemed more a debating point.  That’s what partisans do, not reporters.

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