At least that's the way Howard Kurtz, media columnist for the Washington Post, seems to be reading the performance. Some White House reporters were eager to stir the shit, trying to build controversy where there isn't any. Namely, AP's Jennifer Loven, who got the first question and whose story on the news conference ran in today's Salt Lake Tribune. Reading Loven's kinda, sorta news story on the event made me do one of those "were we listening to the same man, at the same time?" headscratchers. Wrote Loven:
In an hourlong press conference Monday, Obama shot back repeatedly with biting, sarcastic asides about GOP lawmakers who say the bill is too big, loaded with pork-barrel spending and won't create jobs.
You know, I was listening on my car radio, so I may have missed facial ticks, frowns and eye rolls--your basic indicators of sarcasm. What I heard was a president who won last fall in a landslide, standing firm on an economic plan he has vetted with his experts and needs desperately to get passed in Congress. Loven and the rest of her pals in the White House press corps have gotten too comfortable writing for each other--a common malady of journalists who never change beats and who never travel farther than 10 miles beyond home base.
One uplifting sign: Obama called on Sam Stein, reporter for The Huffington Post, the first blogger to be recognized at a presidential news conference. That was very cool. (Holly Mullen)