“Veteran Journalists: Today’s White House Reporters Are Too Timid,” Paul Bedard writes at U.S. News and World Report:
Several veteran and prize-winning journalists who covered presidents from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush say that the current crop of White House correspondents are too timid and deferential and have played a role in killing the impact of presidential news conferences.
“If you watch an Obama news conference, and watched a Bush news conference previous to that, where correspondents sit in their seats with their hands folded on their laps, [it’s] as if they are in the room with a monarch and they have to wait to be recognized by the president,” says Sid Davis, the former NBC Washington bureau chief who covered nine presidents. “It looks like they are watching a funeral service at [Washington funeral firm] Joseph Gawler’s and it shouldn’t be that way.”
Adds Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Haynes Johnson, “It’s all very stale, very structured, very pale.”
And longtime NBC and ABC reporter Sander Vanocur: “You want to know what’s wrong with the press? The press is what’s wrong with the press.”
But they worked so hard as a key component of the president’s “non-elected campaign” and applauded after his speeches as a candidate and baked cakes in his honor — why would they dump on him now that he’s in office?