After White House Reporter Carrie Budoff Brown issued Pool Report #5 Tuesday afternoon that included news of a bystander in Iowa holding up a sign that read “Welcome Chocolate Obama,” FNC’s Greta Van Susteren fired back with outrage.
So infuriated was Van Susteren that she put the offending text in a bright orange hue on her Gretawire blog. Budoff Brown, a White House Correspondent for Politico, filed many reports yesterday on President Obama‘s trip to Bettendorf, Iowa. Her reports stand out for their description and attention to detail. In this instance, she included a note on the man with his sign: “It was unclear to the pool exactly what kind of message the guy was trying to send.”
But that wasn’t good enough for Van Susteren.
In her reaction to the “Chocolate Obama” sign, Van Susteren wrote that Budoff Brown had an obligation to acknowledge what she perceived to be the racist nature of the sign.”Where is the decency?” Van Susteren’s blog headline blared. “This is DISGRACEFUL! RACISM” She continued expressing her anger in her post, saying, “What disturbs me further is that the press pool report below doesn’t indicate any outrage by others standing near this man with his sign. Was there outrage by others? Or were others who saw it not saying anything?”
She added, “PS – this was unclear to the pool? Really? What possible innocent explanation could anyone dream up to excuse this?”
The reality is that pool reports rarely, if ever, offer any real opinions on what it is happening. They simply report what is happening, what is worn, said and background information if it is warranted.
We asked Budoff Brown about her report, inquired about the man with the sign as well as Van Susteren’s reaction to it.
“We’re in a motorcade that’s going very very fast and we don’t have much time to do anything but get down what we see and report it out,” Budoff Brown told FishbowlDC. “I obviously didn’t get a chance to talk with the gentleman and report it out and ask him what he meant by it. In short of not knowing what message he was trying to send, I knew I had to have a line [saying as much]. If Greta wanted to know more, she could have written me and asked.”