AmSpec's Prowler: Obama To Get High-Tech Help to Get Through Press Briefings

Tom Blumer
February 17th, 2009 2:22 PM
ObamaPreapprovedToAsk0209.jpgThe Wall Street Journal's editorialists noted something last week ("Obama's Press List"; HT to Warner Todd Huston at NewsBusters) about the extemporaneous speech-impaired President Obama's February press briefing:

About half-way through President Obama's press conference Monday night, he had an unscripted question of his own. "All, Chuck Todd," the President said, referring to NBC's White House correspondent. "Where's Chuck?" He had the same strange question about Fox News's Major Garrett: "Where's Major?"

The problem wasn't the lighting in the East Room. The President was running down a list of reporters preselected to ask questions.

In other words, the preselection by the President's team of who would be allowed to submit a question to His Excellency was obvious to anyone paying reasonably close attention, and his unfocused answers rambled on and on and on.

Now the American Spectator's Prowler reports that the White House's communications crew is trying to do something about that. Not the preselection, no-no-no. They're trying to use high tech to hide that element of the briefings as much as possible, and further, to assist the supposed "greatest orator of his generation" in handling the questions he receives (bolds are mine):


One wouldn't know it from reading the Washington Post or New York Times, but some inside the White House don't think that President Barack Obama hit a home run with his first national press conference last week.

"It looked scripted beyond the scripted part, the speech," says one former communications adviser, who has been feeding notes and suggestions to the White House team and worked with them on the inauguration. .....

To that end, he says, the White House is looking to install a small video or computer screen into the podium used by the president for press conferences and events in the White House. "It would make it easier for the comms guys to pass along information without being obvious about it," says the adviser.

The screen would indicate whom to call on, seat placement for journalists, pass along notes or points to hit, and so forth, says the adviser.

Wait a minute, I thought that George W. Bush was the dummy who couldn't construct a sentence without outside help.

How can it be that such a "brilliant" guy needs "notes on points to hit" and other high-tech help, when the supposedly dim-witted Bush somehow survived without them?

What would the press be saying if Bush had employed these crutches? And what are the chances that the White House press corps will notice and report on this development at Obama's next briefing?

Cross-posted at