Neil Munro, and the questioning of an American president

The recent actions by Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro have caused many in the media to question everything except the president.  They question the audacity of Munro rudely interrupting the president while making a formal statement.  They question the Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief, Tucker Carlson, for defending the reporter by saying: “We’re proud of him.”  Then, after countless hours of debate, and meticulous methodology put into how they were going to approach this sensitive issue, they decided that Neil Munro’s actions were motivated by racism.  I’m teasing, of course, they didn’t put any meticulous research into this, they leapt to this conclusion reflexively.

“Many on the political right believe this president ought not to be there – they oppose him not for his polices and political view but for who he is, an African American,” former ABC reporter Sam MunroDonaldson told the Huffington Post in an email.{1}

“Finally,” says CNN analyst Don Lemon, “The elephant in the rose garden.  Thank you Sam Donaldson.” {2}

The allusion that Mr. Lemon is making is that Sam Donaldson is the first person to state that the motivations for questioning this president are based on race.  I realize that Mr. Lemon is saying that he appreciates Donaldson for analyzing this story from the perspective of race, with Mr. Lemon being an African-American, and I realize that he’s trying to give Donaldson’s quote gravitas by saying how refreshing it is that a white person would recognize that another white person may have been a racist when questioning a president of another race.  But is he trying to say that this accusation hasn’t been made before?  Does he have cable?  Has he ever read a newspaper?  Has he ever watched a major news production?  What about the Sunday talk shows?

An objective reporter that follows the news, and the reactions to such news stories, would know that this isn’t a “finally”.  This race accusation is simply something that happened on a Tuesday.   A “finally” would be if a white reporter were allowed to question an elected African-American representative and not be accused of racism.  A “finally” would involve a news anchor turning to a race-baiting accusation with a statement such as: “Let’s look beyond such superficial accusations and deal with the substance of the issue that this reporter asked about, and the president’s answer.”

As for Donaldson’s quote, most conservatives do oppose President Obama for his policies, and his political views.  It’s you Mr. Donaldson, Mr. Lemon, and all of your cohorts in the media, that focus on Obama’s race.  Mr. Donaldson leaves the illusion that no one could possibly question what Obama’s doing, or what he stands for, so the natural conclusion has to be that anyone who does must be a racist.  Believe it or not, some of us do question and disagree with the president, and we enjoy seeing his policies, and his political views questioned, in the same manner we would want any other representative’s positions and views questioned.  We want to hear our representatives’ answers, and we want people to know what he stands for, because we believe that this will mean that fewer voters will vote for him if these views are properly exposed.

What does it say about the current state of our media that we’re shocked when one of its members step out and ask this president a tough question?  Was Mr. Munro rude, or was he frustrated that our thin-skinned president doesn’t take questions from tough reporters?  On the occasions when President Barack Obama does deign to answer questions, he selects those people who are going to ask him friendly questions.  He then filibusters the answers to those question to limit the opportunity tough reporters might have to ask him tough questions. You can say that Mr. Munro was rude, you can even say that he broke some rules of social decorum of white house reporters, but the very idea that someone who questions the authority of one of our representatives must have ulterior motives speaks to how poor our media has been in questioning this administration.  Obama is our representative, and we should be able to question everything he does to hold him accountable for his representation of our views.

And everyone, including President Barack Obama, would agree with this in general principle, but when a seemingly frustrated reporter steps forth and does it, the outrage is palpable.  How many times did a frustrated Sam Donaldson break decorum and shout tough questions at President Ronald Reagan in the rose garden?  What were his motivations for doing so, and are they that different from Neil Munro’s?  If the shade of Reagan’s skin were darker, what would Sam Donaldson think of his motivations for doing so in hindsight?

“Finally!  Someone brings up race!” they say on a daily basis now.  “No one wants to talk about” what we talk about every day in this country.  “We need to open up dialogue on” something that is covered on a daily basis.  I’m not saying that race shouldn’t be discussed, but let’s drop the façade that it’s a relief to have someone finally talking about it.  Race may be the elephant in the room, but we’re not ignoring it.  We’re petting it, stroking it, stoking it, and feeding it massive amounts of food every day to help it grow.  I dare say that it doesn’t need this much food, and we shouldn’t be trying to jam every trinket we find on the floor in its mouth to feed into this massive behemoth we’ve created.




4 thoughts on “Neil Munro, and the questioning of an American president

  1. You don’t interrupt the President YOU LIE!!!
    Sorry, where was I. You don’t interrupt the President while he is making a statement. After he’s done, anything is fair game. Seems like this President gets disrespected more than any other. Don’t know if it’s racism, or just the times, or just the stupidity of a few.


  2. Thank you for your comment! It is a sign of the times. Bush was treated without respect, and the guy who follows Obama will be treated with even less respect. Bush was called illegitimate throughout his presidency, based upon the shenanigans that occurred in the 2000 election, foreigners threw shoes at him, made assassination movies about him, and Americans around the nation laughed and rejoiced. Bush was called stupid, incurious, a cowboy, and the list could go on and on. I’m sure many agreed when the insults, and the lack of decorum, was displayed against the other party’s guy, but when it’s their guy it’s disrespectful.


  3. Reblogged this on The Busy Post and commented:
    I like how Obama turned an ran as soon as that Press Conference was over.

    Why bother calling them ‘Press Conferences’? Just call them an ‘Announcement’ or ‘A Chicago Jesus Proclamation!’


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