If you woke up feeling uncomfortable and maybe even a tad violated, then you might have witnessed Jeff Zeleny‘s four-part question for President Obama during last night’s press conference. Surprisingly, the NYT’s reporter asked Obama a set of questions more fit for a FishbowlDC interview than a nationally-televised presser.
Zeleny’s “surprised, humbled, enchanted, troubled” inquiry successfully threw the President off of his talking points, but at what price?
Weigh in. Brilliant or BS…what do you think?
UPDATE: FishbowlDC had the opportunity to chat about Zeleny’s question with another WH correspondent this afternoon. This was the response:
Zeleny’s question is exactly what’s wrong with the White House press
corps: Instead of thinking on his feet, asking follow-ups to the intriguing answers by President Obama on torture, abortion, etc., he stuck with a question he wrote down in a vacuum hours earlier. It was an overwritten, overly cute and so ethereal as to be pointless (did viewers really care about what “enchants” Obama?).
In addition, the president clearly mocked him, and enjoyed every second of it. “And what was the last one, humbled?” Obama said. “Humbled. Thank you, sir,” said a relieved Zeleny before finally getting to sit down again. Humbled indeed. But also pathetic. Expect Zeleny to ask Obama at the next presser just what kind of tree he would be, would he — could he — be a tree.