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‘Let Me Finish My Answers’

By Doug Powers  •  April 19, 2011 01:39 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

President Obama did sit-down interviews with four Texas TV stations at the White House yesterday. Beforehand, Mike Allen at Politico explained why these kinds of interviews are conducted:

The White House sees these interviews as a way to cut through Beltway chatter and give the president an opportunity to talk to Americans about his vision for the country, in a venue that’s familiar to them. Obama’s communicators choose stations from different regions of the country, with a particular emphasis on stations that have content-sharing relationships with other stations in the region. For example, today’s interview with WFAA in Dallas will also be seen by viewers in Austin, San Antonio and Houston. With the reporters invited to come see the president, the interview becomes more of an “event” and is heavily promoted as a White House interview.

In other words, it’s a good way to be seen by a lot of people in a certain region without using the national press but instead some local anchor or reporter who’s just going to be happy to have the opportunity, and as such, less likely to rock the boat and conduct a tougher interview.

Sometimes though it doesn’t work out that way, as was the case with a WFAA reporter:

After the interview, Obama pointed out that he doesn’t like an interviewer challenging his comments.

“Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?” he said.

Of course, there’s never enough time to ask all the questions, but on one that Texas Republicans keep bringing up — that the president is somehow targeting Texas — he said clearly, he is not.

The exchange is towards the end of this short video:

If Obama heads into the 2012 campaign thinking that the media is going to wag their tails and roll over so their bellies can be scratched with Hope & Change like they did in 2008, he’s… correct to some degree. But a portion of the press will refuse to blindly swallow the Kool Aid this time around, and they are the reason we’ll probably see many more expressions of dissatisfaction like this (or worse) in the coming months. Especially if those reporters are from Texas.

**Written by Doug Powers

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