D.C. Press Corps Boring Itself to Death

Want to know if “the media did a great job” covering Barack Obama’s second major presidential press conference? Jason Linkins says (Huffington Post, 3/25/09) you can “just ask the media! Because they’ll tell you!”

But “at the same time, the media is also quick to point out that the press conference was ‘totally boring!'” Among those bemoaning what Linkins deems “certainly a strange coincidence” is NBC‘s chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd, who thought that “more than anything else, Obama’s news conference last night resembled a campaign TV ad,” and asked, “how many times did we hear Obama mention his budget’s top priorities: education, energy, healthcare, reducing the deficit?” Linkins’ reply:

Indeed, HOW MANY TIMES DID OBAMA TALK ABOUT THE BUDGET? Jesus, it was almost as if he kept getting questions about the budget. In fact, it was ALMOST AS IF Jennifer Loven, Jake Tapper, Ed Henry, Chip Reid and Chuck Todd himself asked a bunch of questions about spending and budgets! Was it like a “campaign TV ad”? Hmmm. I wonder if that’s because Obama spent a lot of time, on the campaign trail, patiently explaining his budget priorities, amid approximately a million billion questions about “HOW WILL YOU PAY FOR THESE THINGS?”

Yes. It’s the repetition of perennial questions–questions whose answers, offered long ago, were so satisfying to voters that they voted in accordance with their satisfaction–that BORED, thunderously.

Linkins’ “look at the breakdown” of questions put to Obama yields “a pattern” in which “‘traditional’ media outlets brought the repetitive, dull, blunt force trauma, and the smaller, less-called-upon outfits provided the evening’s flavor,” with questions on such interesting and important topics as violence in Mexico, homelessness and stem cell research.