As Obama Bizarrely Walks Away From Presser, AP's Feller Waxes Nostalgic on How 'Clinton Commands Stage'

Not that he legitimately deserves our pity, but imagine the difficulty of being Ben Feller at the Associated Press yesterday.

You've just attended a suddenly announced joint press conference with President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton to announce the latter's support for the former's tax- and spending-related legislative proposals worked out with Republicans. You witness the astonishing spectacle of the current Commander In Chief leaving his own presser to be with his wife at a Christmas party, followed by the former CIC acting as if he never left, holding forth on all kinds of things beyond the presser's original intention.

How do you frame this positively while the rest of the nation -- left, far left, and right -- gasps in utter amazement?

The following excerpt, which only begins to reveal the depth of Feller's feckless fawning, shows us how (especially over the top phrasing is bolded):

Bill's Back: Clinton commands stage at White House

 

No comment? No way. You don't stop Bill Clinton when he's back at the White House with something to say.

 

... What had the West Wing buzzing was the scene itself: Clinton in his element, like he had never left. And almost like he wasn't going to leave this time.

 

For one remarkable half hour, Clinton turned a seemingly slow Friday afternoon into his stage.

 

He tutored in loving detail about economic theory and nuclear disarmament. He was short on time, yet somehow found some for just one more question. He bit on his lip and spread his arms as he spoke and did all those other familiar gestures.

 

In a town of scripted rollouts and talking points, the way this event unfolded was refreshingly and remarkably impromptu.

 

... Obama introduced Clinton lightly as "the other guy" and recalled how Clinton has overseen heady economic times. Obama warned that he wouldn't be staying long - another White House Christmas party was waiting, as was his wife, Michelle.

 

And so it became clear pretty quickly that this was Clinton's show.

 

... "I feel awkward being here, and now you're going to leave me all by myself," Clinton said from the stage of the White House briefing room.

 

... "I have a general rule," Clinton said, "which is that whatever he asked me about my advice, and whatever I say should become public only if he decides to make it public." Obama didn't provide that permission, saying: "I've been keeping the First Lady waiting for about half an hour, so I'm going to take off."

The reader's only clue that something might be amiss is Feller's quote of Clinton "feel(ing) awkward" about being left alone to face the press -- by the President of the United States, in the White House itself, at a briefing about his (the President's) desired legislation.

There's not even the slightest inkling of the intensely negative reactions to Obama's walk-out from sites all over the political map, all of which appeared well before the story's 9:19 p.m. time stamp (HT Ed Driscoll at Pajamas Media):

  • On the left, at Mediaite -- "one of the worst PR moves in the entirety of the administration. ... I mean, letting a former president explain your tax bill while you head to a Christmas party? A Christmas party?"
  • On the far left, at Time -- "Count this among the greatest miscalculations of President Obama’s career: ‘I’m going to let him speak very briefly.'"
  • On the right, at numerous sites, including Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin's site (“Clinton Takes Charge; Obama Takes a Powder”) -- "A bigger mistake hasn’t been made since Eddie Fisher agreed to let Elizabeth Taylor share a makeup trailer with Richard Burton ..."

No-no-no, not in AP la-la land. It was a "remarkable half hour" full of "loving detail" that was "remarkably impromptu" (a Thesaurus apparently wasn't available on such short notice).

It should also never be forgotten that Mr. Clinton, the ARIFPOTUS (that would be "Accused Rapist and Impeached Former President of the United States" for those of us who refuse to forget his full, sordid history) would never be in the generally favorable position in which he finds himself without the nine years of relentless defense the AP and so many other establishment media outlets played from the 1992 presidential primaries all the way to his outrageous presidential pardons in January 2001.

Feller's failures are sadly important, as subscribing AP outlets will largely rely on his narrative in relaying yesterday's news. His pathetic reporting exemplifies why characterizing the AP as the nation's primary Democratic- and state-sympathetic media outlet is not at all over the top.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.