Last night on Special Report with Brit Hume, Mort Kondrake had an especially good take on yesterday’s White House press conference. His simple comment really debunks the idea (popular among lefties) that conservatives want a press corps that cheers on Republicans instead of asking tough questions. Here’s what he said:
Morton Kondracke, Executive Editor of Roll Call: “Well, I mean, it is the role of the press to ask challenging questions of the President. I thought he, in general, he handled them feistily and, you know, for somebody who’s jet-lagged and all that, rather more feisty than usual even. What’s interesting, though, is that there was hardly any question, critical question from the right, which you might call the Weekly Standard side of the fence. For example, this deal-”
Brit Hume: “Let me just ask you a question about that. And which news organization every day represents the Weekly Standard side of events?”
Kondracke: “Well, I don’t think there is one. So, but, for example, I mean, critics say that the deal that you’re offering Iran on nuclear weapons is a lot like the deal that Bill Clinton offered to North Korea, and he got taken as a result of it.
There are a whole host of issues on which conservatives disagree with the president – to the extent they even agree with each other these days. But when conservatives listen to a White House press conference, they hear liberal critiques phrased as questions — not, as Kondrake put it, “critical question[s] from the right” (see the rest of Brent Baker’s post for examples). We aren’t opposed to tough questions. But we don’t hear very many that reflect our concerns.