Did CNN’s Ed Henry smackdown Obama? Or vice Versa?
Posted by danishova on March 25, 2009
Today Ed Morrissey gives his Obamateurism of the Day award for this exchange with CNN’s Ed Henry:
Henry: But on AIG, why did you wait — why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage? It seems like the action is coming out of New York and the attorney general’s office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, “Look, we’re outraged.” Why did it take so long?
Obama: It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.
In my view, that’s an asinine response at the outset because I have zero confidence in Obama’s knowledge base, and I’m confident he never, ever knows what he’s talking about when it comes to economics. (Sure, if he was my go-to guy for implementing a 21st Century version of a Socialist Manifesto, I might be pretty impressed with his articulate grasp of Marx’s talking points…)
Morrissey goes on to explain why he gave out the award here:
The problem with this is that it took him a couple of days — and he still got it wrong. If you’ll recall, Obama and his team first claimed to know nothing about the bonuses, and then modified that claim to knowing nothing about the amendment in the omnibus plan that allowed them to get paid. Subsequently, we discovered that not only did Tim Geithner and Congress discuss the bonuses on March 3rd (and that Geithner wrote an e-mail about them while with the New York Fed in November), but that it was Geithner and his staff that directed Chris Dodd to make the necessary changes to the amendment that enabled the bonuses. In otherwords, Outraged Obama made the bonuses possible.
Which is all true, but misses a larger point; namely, that Ed Henry’s question is idiotic at the outset. It’s bad enough that Henry is complaining that a politician was late, late, late in saying “we’re outraged!”, but by setting Cuomo up as the model to follow indicates a lack of familiarity (or concern?) with Cuomo’s role in the housing crisis, and his subsequent strong-arm, extortionist tactics with A.I.G. employees.
Count me in as unimpressed with either actor in this exchange. Ultimately you have one foolish questioner (Henry) egging on another foolish respondent (Obama). Which makes them both a couple of losers (or at best makes the incident a stalemate).
Ed Henry parses the incident himself here. Apparently Dems think Obama won the round, while Republicans are congratulating Henry for his skilled questioning. Whatever, he seems mighty proud of himself.
“I think both the President and the press hit their marks tonight” at the presidential press conference, Stephanopoulos gushed on Tuesday’s Nightline in assigning an “A-minus for the President, A-minus for the press.”
Michelle Malkin reports on an “anti-capitalist vigilante group calling itself Bank Bosses Are Criminals”. This speaks to my earlier point that Henry is a fool to upbraid Obama for being in slo-mo when it came to getting on the A.I.G. outrage bandwagon. When politicians (like the hysterical mob in Congress) play to reporters like Ed Henry who demand that politicians feed class warfare-ish “OUTRAGE!”, class warfare is what you’ll get.
O.M.G. (Via Newsbusters) An infatuated Tom Shales was so taken by Barack’s presser that he calls him "not just President Wonderful but President Feel-Good as well". Did I mention that he is "an astutely pithy phrasemaker"? What an O’Reilly-esque turn of phrase. Too bad B.O.R. gave Barack a bad grade with no mention at all of pithyness.
Conservative Thoughts and Profundity provides a fun analysis of Ed Henry’s ‘wasn’t I great!’ write-up about what went on “behind the scenes”: It begins:
There is a somewhat amusing article on CNN.com right now. It’s not amusing for it’s witticism but for the fact that Ed Henry and CNN think they need to explain away the “tough exchange” that Henry and Obama engaged in during Tuesday’s press conference. Also amusing is the fact that Henry seems to be apologizing to The One for simply doing his job. Finally, it’s amusing for the fact that CNN and Henry think they are the news along with the president. It’s narcissistic and revealing all at once. On top of all that it is amusing for whom CNN obviously felt the need to explain themselves to because for the last day the left has been outraged over Henry’s gall at asking the president a simple question.