Fox News Whines About HuffPo Reporter’s ‘First-Rate Treatment’

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President Obama’s press conference today was barely finished today when Fox News posted a story on their website about how a Huffington Post reporter got “first rate treatment.”  Read what’s got them in a tizzy while I get them some cheese to go with their whine:

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest personally escorted National Editor Nico Pitney to the jam-packed presser from the lower press and personally created space for him near the front of the briefing room.
No one else received that kind of treatment. After the president’s opening statement, he called on Pitney second to The Associated Press and by name. He also appeared to have some advance heads up into the coming question.

As a matter of fact, it seems the White House knew that HuffPo was soliciting questions from Iranians, and invited Pitney to ask on their behalf.  Such villainy!

Oh, and about that special treatment.  Sure, it’s a little bit special for a blogger, but I’d point out that Fox’s Major Garrett, along with al of the other TV people, got to sit down in the first 2 rows, and routinely get to ask the President and/or Robert Gibbs, a Facebook quiz’s worth of questions.

As one of the few bloggers who ever gets a question in at briefings, I can tell you that none of us want to hear the TV people crying about this.  Just eat your goddam steak and let us enjoy our bone.

Update: Ed Morrissey says Politico’s “whining” about it too.  I checked it out, and they’ve obviously updated it since then, lowering the pitch.  Still, I had a tirade all ready to go, so here is why I don’t want to hear it from Politico, either.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve called the Obama press office, during and since the campaign, and been the first reporter to ask them about a story, only to have them promise to call me back and then feed the answer to Politico hours later.  I get that they’re the bigger platform, it’s not their fault, but again, cry me a freaking river.  In the spectrum of injustice, the President rewarding responsive journalism ranks pretty low.  From Politico:

Deputy press secretary Bill Burton responds: “We did reach out to him prior to press conference to tell him that we had been paying attention to what he had been doing on Iran and there was a chance that he’d be called on. And, he ended up asking the toughest question that the President took on Iran. In the absence of an Iranian press corps in Washington, it was an innovative way to get a question directly from an Iranian.”

Right Wing Creaming Over Obama and Iran – Ice Cream, Cream Puffs

While President Obama has rolled out a still-stronger statement on the unrest in Iran, there are some on the righs-YES-PECAN-larget who are more obsessed with cream than with productive diplomacy.

First, there was GOP Congressman Dana Rohrbacher’s assertion that President Obama is a “cream puff.”  It’s a nice sound byte, unless you spend a second or two thinking.  Along with the rest of the chorus saying “Do something, do anything!”, Rohrbacher seems to forget what happened when the last Decider-in-Chief felt a little impotent and went off half-cocked.  Isn’t that really what the “cream puff” dig was about, another veiled shot at the President’s masculinity?

Now, the loons on the right are up in arms about the President taking his daughters for ice cream while Iran suffers violent turmoil.  The uproar was so instantaneous and fierce that fellow White House reporter Mark Knoller had this to say only moments after tweeting about the dessert run:  (via Twitter) Continue reading

Statement from the President on Iran

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

_____________________________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 20, 2009

Statement from the President on Iran

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said – “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.

Before You Even Start With the Fake #Iranianelection Re-Tweets

I wrote a little love letter, yesterday,  to the old media types who are telling Twitter to get off their lawns.  Today, Jake Tapper has a post about a bump in the road for Iranian election tweeters that’s sure to make the dinosaurs shout “A-HA!”

ABC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Jim Sciutto has just left Iran.  His visa, which allowed him to report from the streets of Tehran during the election demonstrations, has expired, requiring him to depart.  He reports now from Dubai:

The government is now trying to turn technology against the protesters. Officials have started a number of fake opposition pages on Twitter, which are tweeting propaganda and misleading information. I became an unwitting victim when a user named ‘persian_guy’ retweeted several things under my name which I didn’t write. Here are a couple:

As I said yesterday, this is no reason to throw out the only tool available to the Iranian opposition.  It’s like saying, “I got a phone call from someone pretending to be X, and they stole my identity!  No more phone calls for me!  That dang thing’ll steal your soul, anyway!”

The fake re-tweets, in this case, were rather clumsy, and were sure to raise the suspicion of anyone with an ounce of intelligence.

The Iranian opposition has shown outstanding resourcefulness and tenacity.  I doubt very much that they’ll be foiled by the Twitter equivalent of the Jerky Boys.

#Iran-Twitter Revolution Poo-Pooer Jack Shafer Doesn’t Get it

Update: Andrew Sullivan somehow agrees with both of us.

I was probably one of many journalists who sat up and took notice of Twitter’s amazing role in the Iranian election twitteraftermath.  Of course, you can’t give anyone credit for anything without some naysayer coming along to say “Nay,” and Slate’s Jack Shafer fills the “beat the backlash” opening in this case:

Doubting Twitter: Let’s not get carried away about its role in Iran’s demonstrations.

OK, before I get started, let me re-print my own Twitter in Iran article at the end of this one, so you can see who’s getting carried where. This will save me some time, anyway. Continue: Continue reading

President Obama’s Full Remarks on Iranian Election

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release June 15, 2009

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA

AND PRIME MINISTER BERLUSCONI OF ITALY

IN PRESS AVAILABILITY

Oval Office

5:48 P.M. EDT
Continue reading

Twitter Comes of Age in Iran

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Update: Score a big victory for Tweeps everywhere, who have succeeded in getting Twitter to delay maintenance that would have shut down communication out of Iran for at least an hour.

Almost 2 years ago, political innovator Joe Trippi tried to explain to me what the hell Twitter was, and why it was going to be “the new MySpace.”  Although I had no frakkin’ idea what he was talking about, I signed up anyway.  The guy never steered me wrong before.

Almost a year after that, I began to see the possibilities, and now, I routinely sign off of Twitter with a mock prayer in memory of MySpace.  Twitter as a viral watercooler (that sounds gross) has, indeed, revolutionized social media with the unlikely combination of old-school elements like the telegraph and the party line.

Now, it looks like Twitter has revolutionized journalism. Continue reading