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Presser Yields Little News, Mixed Reviews

By Ben Pershing
With so much going on at home and abroad, with the public anxious and the economy still struggling, it's difficult for the president to field an hour's worth of questions from an eager press corps in the heart of prime time and not make news or shift the current terms of political debate in any substantive way. Yet it seems that's exactly what President Obama did last night, drawing some good reviews for his performance and some mediocre ones but dazzling no one.

The Fix thought Obama "struggled badly" at the start of the presser, with his gaze below camera level as he "sped through" his opening statement. Tom Shales also noted the poor start but felt that while Obama "wasn't quite as energetic as in many of his other TV appearances, he still came out victorious." Peter Wallsten thought Obama "looked as though he would have preferred to be someplace else," provided "no memorable moments" and brought "no special energy" to his answers. Mike McCurry and Dana Perino agreed that the event lacked drama, with McCurry suggesting that the days when networks will block out a valuable chunk of prime time may be coming to an end.

On the substance, many observers were surprised that there were no questions centered on Iraq, Afghanistan or the overall fight against terrorism. Foreign policy in general got very little attention, though it's not clear whether that was really the fault of Obama or his questioners. Speaking of the latter, does Obama think newspapers are not just dying but already dead? Lots of love last night for reporters from the networks, radio and magazines but relatively little for the dead-tree brigade. Presumably Obama will not be backing this bill.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:20 AM ET on Mar 25, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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According to the early Nielsen ratings, Barack Obama's Tuesday night press conference showed some audience slippage compared with his two most recent live press events.

The news special drew a 21.1 metered market household rating across the four major broadcasters -- down 14% from from his Feb. 24 address and Feb. 12 conference (which drew a 24.5 and 24.4 in the metered markets).

Posted by: JakeD | March 25, 2009 2:42 PM

I doubt most of the American people have much patience left to embrace. The reason that Obama's gaze was fixed below camera level as he "sped through" his opening statement was because he has now thrown his telepromter under the bus (Fox News had a great shot of the giant TV he was reading from instead). "Mixed reviews" indeed.

Posted by: JakeD | March 25, 2009 12:48 PM

THE PREMIER INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER OF OUR TIME DROPS A BOMBSHELL AND THE WH PRESS CORPS SLEEPS


Why does the WH press corps ask the same question sixteen different ways and expect a different answer?

When will someone break new ground and ask POTUS about civil liberties and human rights issues...

...starting with Seymour Hersh's claim that U.S. military/intel operatives continue to run black ops against American citizens here at home...

...and that Cheney ran an "executive assassination ring" out of the VP's office?

What does the Obama administration know about this? Are such "ops" continuing?

How about Wednesday at the Gibbs briefing? Will one of you people prove that you know how to advance a story?


***


THE 'EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT NETWORK' IS STILL HARMING AMERICANS AND VIOLATING THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

MICROWAVE RADIATION WEAPONRY, WIDELY DEPLOYED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, THE MILITARY AND INTEL AGENCIES, 'COOKS' HUMAN TISSUE FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

PRESIDENT OBAMA, THIS IS NOT LOOKING BACK.

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 25, 2009 10:37 AM

I'm sorry, the critics that you include in this article are all Republican strategists except for the Fix which gave good marks for everything but the start of the press conference. Seriously, we are going to listen to a bunch of Rethuglican hacks in judging Obama's press conference. Geez, get real or go do some real reporting. The media just gets worse.

Posted by: dkress1 | March 25, 2009 9:26 AM

Last night was a steady defense of Obama's political capital that was markedly better than his first primetime presser. The American people will embrace patience after this.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | March 25, 2009 8:59 AM

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