Obama Turns His Back On the Press


PETER BAKER
N.Y. Times
May 19, 2010

At a ceremony to sign a bill promoting press freedom around the world on Monday, President Obama refused to take questions from reporters. “I’m not doing a press conference today,” he told Chip Reid of CBS News, “but we’ll be seeing you guys during the course of the week.”

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So when the president hosted a “news conference” in the Rose Garden with the president of Mexico on Wednesday, Mr. Reid thought maybe this time Mr. Obama would take questions. Instead, Mr. Obama allowed only a single question from the American news media, calling on a reporter from Univision, making it unlikely that he would be asked about Tuesday’s anti-incumbent election results.

Sure enough, Mr. Obama was asked about the Arizona law aimed at stopping illegal immigrants, a law he had already denounced in his opening remarks and was happy to denounce again in response to the question. He did not have to offer his thoughts on the loss of an ally, Senator Arlen Specter, in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, or on any other topic.

As the event ended and Mr. Obama swiveled to head back into the Oval Office, Mr. Reid tried again and shouted out a question about the elections. Mr. Obama ignored him.

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