President Obama delivered short remarks today extolling his new policy toward children of illegal immigrants when a loud angry man repeatedly interrupted him. Had some crazy person somehow penetrated the White House Security apparatus, or was this a journalist? The answer to both questions is “yes.” It was Neil Munro of the Daily Caller.
The Daily Caller is a right-wing pseudo-journalistic enterprise edited by Tucker Carlson, once a talented narrative reporter who spiraled downward into hackery. Carlson tells Michael Calderone that Munro’s “critics ought to make it official and take a gig at the White House.” In Carlson’s mind, undue love of Barack Obama is the only possible reason to object to journalists screaming in the middle of a presidential speech.
There’s a reflexive tendency in Washington to tut-tut about “respect for the office of the presidency,” and in general I take the position that there’s far too much respect for the office. Presidents should have questions shouted at them sometimes. There is, however, a line. You don’t get to stop the president from completing his speech.
Carlson, hilariously, defends himself:
“Politicians don’t get to make a statement and then retreat to a fortified castle,” Carlson said, adding that “our job is to find out what’s going on with federal government on our time-table.”
The Daily Caller’s timetable apparently was a need to know answers in the middle of the speech. Just like Woodward and Bernstein!