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Press Conference or Gauntlet?
As I write this article, President Bush is wrapping up the first news conference of his second term. Most of the press attacked him, especially in the areas of Social Security reform. They assumed in their questions that the Social Security reform was financially irresponsible, and would create debt. They continued to call the terrorists threatening the Iraqi elections "insurgents," as if these brutal blacguards were freedom fighters. On that point, at least, our President pulled no punches, and referred to these people as terrorists, quite accurately.
President Bush also made a spirited and cogent defense of Social Security reform, using Rush’s description of Social Security as "the third rail of politics." He then made a convincing case that the good and moral thing to do was to empower the people by giving them control over their own money. Our beloved president also went to lengths to make it clear that private accounts were a non-negotiable part of any reform package. Hurrah!
"The press literally set up a gauntlet of attack-questions."
The press literally set up a gauntlet of attack-questions. Right now on WLS-AM radio, Eileen Byrne is floating the proposition that these questions were disrespectful. I agree that many of these questions were disrespectful. All of them, save for the last question, were negative, and appear to be designed to cause the president to misstep or to admit some grave flaw in his governance or in those who help run his administration.
The last question, however, asked about the delayed confirmation hearings, and posited that the lefties on Capitol Hill were angry in their core at the president and were using these delays to vent their anger. While remaining completely presidential, W in essence told these lefties to grow up and do their jobs and confirm his nominees. Hurrah again!
The press’ liberal bias make them look snobbish and vicious, and President Bush’s deft handling of these attack questions show them for the petty children that they are. Hurrah for the third time! As many on my side of the spectrum have said, the left has no affirmative agenda of its own but can only complain, and the cause for the complaint is in almost all cases nothing more than complaint for its own sake. The reporters grilled the President on Iraq and the conduct of the war, giving him the window of opportunity to note that the terrorist Al-Zarqawi has declared war on Democracy itself. The reporters grilled the president about the intimidation that the terrorists are trying to wreak upon the vote, saying that many are afraid to vote, but our President duly noted that almost all Iraqis want to and plan to vote. What will the press say when there is a high turnout in Iraq on Sunday?
This gauntlet shows exactly why our President does not do many press conferences. They are not about information gathering; they are attack festivals. Attack, attack, attack. See if you can be the one to make the president look bad! Ever since Watergate, the press has regarded its role as the topplers of Republican administrations. Apparently, though, Democrats get a free pass to flout the law with impunity. Whatever happened to simply gathering and reporting all of the news, with neither passion nor bias? Not with this bunch of socialist America-Haters!