Ed Driscoll

A Modest Proposal

Also via the latest Carnival of the Classiness, Dean Esmay has a simple idea whose time has come–thanks to the technology that allows you to read this (and/or start a blog of your own):

I say that having a pack of baying jackals in your basement who pound you and your staff every day with a ridiculous set of hypercritical and often shallow second-guessing “questions” has probably done more to make Presidents feel isolated than any other force in modern life. I know that if I were President, I’d feel more worried about that gaggle of hostile monkeys and my supposed need to appease them than I would be about assassination attempts.

We, the people, do not need any self-appointed “interlocutor” to the President. The White House can issue its statements, and the Congress can issue its statements, and the people can weigh them. When the next election comes around, we will make our choice at the ballot box.

I for one would find it enormously refreshing if the entire White House press corps was summarily ejected en masse. The White House can issue daily briefs over the internet, and perhaps hold a small–emphasis on small–press conference once or twice a month, with a handful of seasoned, respected and respectful reporters who get to ask the press secretary a few salient questions. When the President felt he (or she) needed to address the public directly, he could do so as he already does, via speeches. If he occasionally felt the need to talk the press, he could do so at the times of his choosing, to members of the press of his choosing.

All of this would not make the President more isolated. It would make him more able to do the job he was elected to do without the constant distraction that the feces-flinging monkey corps–I mean, the White House press corps–creates.

You want “someone” to ask harsh questions of the President? I think the leaders of the opposition party in Congress are more than capable of doing that. I also think that the President is as capable of reading the paper and watching the news as I am, and that neither the President nor the public has any pressing need for instantanteous responses to publicly-aired questions.

I note again, by the way, that I do not mean this President. I mean any President, of any party. I utterly despise the self-appointed “interlocutor” press corps. When I don’t just despise them, I outright hate them. And I don’t care if I hate whoever’s President, because I hate the feces-flinging monkey corps even more.

We the people do not need the press to be our stand-in. Indeed, the very notion represents everything I hate about journalism as it has functioned since the Nixon years. Which is part of why I cheer whenever I notice these people being bypassed.

Exactly.