Video: Obama snaps at reporter for asking ‘off topic’ Syria question

posted at 12:41 pm on May 28, 2014 by Guy Benson

Notable for two reasons, which we’ll address after the clip:

“I’m sorry, we’re doing a science fair — c’mon. C’mon.”

Granted, reporters can be obnoxious. They sometimes ask questions that seem inane and inappropriate for the moment, then decline to ask pressing, relevant questions when the moment demands it. But this particular journalist’s sin was asking an important question of the Commander in Chief at the tail end of an unrelated White House photo-op. The president’s response is pointed and peevish. He’s visibly angry that she exploited an opening to ask about reports that the United States is stepping up efforts to aid and train Syrian rebels. Disgusted, Obama scolds her for ‘going there’ by violating the sanctity of the photo-op with an inquiry about an unapproved topic. Which brings me to the promised analysis:

(1) According to Politico’s recent poll of the White House press corps, reporters gave the Obama administration low marks on accessibility and transparency. Asked how many times their news organization has been granted an exclusive interview with Obama, a majority respondents said ‘zero.’ Follow up: “How does that number compare to any past presidents you’ve covered?” Result: ‘Fewer’ outpaced ‘more’ by a 31-point margin. On the question of which recent administration has been more forthcoming with information with reporters, Team Bush topped Team O, 41 percent to five percent. That’s a striking number. In his first term, Obama held fewer press conferences than any president in the last 25 years. An intrepid correspondent might be forgiven, therefore, for taking a stab at an important question when an imperfect opportunity presented itself. Obama was having none of it, and decided to make an example of the transgressor. His antipathy was palpable.

(2) By the way, what is America’s Syria policy these days? And when was the last time President Obama answered a question about it? When we last covered the issue over at Townhall more than a month ago, the US government was looking into allegations that the Assad regime had once again crossed the chemical weapons “red line” — making a further mockery of last year’s half-baked, essentially accidental (and empirically failed) disarmament deal. A few weeks later, Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to confirm the worst:

Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Thursday that he has seen “raw data” indicating that the Syrian government has used chlorine gas as a chemical weapon in a “number of ­instances” in recent months. “There will be consequences” if evidence of new chemical use is confirmed, Kerry said, but “we’re not going to pin ourselves down to a precise date, time, manner of action.”

There will be consequences, but we won’t say when or how they’ll be meted out. Fearsome stuff. The problem, of course, is that the president already ‘pinned us down‘ on a military response to chemical weapons use. The so-called compromise that averted such an action required the Syrians to turn over all of their illegal weapons stockpiles along a strict timeline. They quite obviously haven’t fully complied; allegedly employing deadly gases again is an overtly brazen move. The regime apparently made the calculation that any potential downside of sticking a thumb in America’s eye was minimal, at least compared to the tactical value of poisoning the opposition en masse. It sounds as though the US is preparing to respond by training anti-Assad rebels (how thoroughly vetted will they be?), but that report is yet unconfirmed. Because “we’re doing a science fair. C’mon.” So don’t even think about asking about this.

That foreign policy pivot is going swimmingly so far.


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Comment pages: 1 2

“Why can’t I just eat my waffle learn my science?”

Left Coast Right Mind on May 28, 2014 at 4:44 AM

Would not have treated a male reported that way.

Ben Hur on May 28, 2014 at 4:45 AM

President Bluth

turfmann on May 28, 2014 at 5:08 AM

Someone just became another unemployment statistic for her former colleagues to ignore.

Gator Country on May 28, 2014 at 5:15 AM

No wonder MM calls him “President Stompy-Foot”…

Newtie and the Beauty on May 28, 2014 at 5:29 AM

The president’s response is pointed and peevish.

Peevish Privilege

MichaelGabriel on May 28, 2014 at 5:32 AM

So the VA is melting down and Obama is doing science fairs?

TexasDan on May 28, 2014 at 5:34 AM

“I’m sorry, we’re doing a science fair — c’mon. C’mon.”

Well, during the event he told the kids they are smarter than he is.

So once in a blue moon, he can tell the truth about something.

climbnjump on May 28, 2014 at 5:43 AM

“Do you know who I am? Do you know who you are? That’s what I thought.”

Obama’s tantrums are so smooth.

portlandon on May 28, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I’m not weak” is proof that he isn’t, Christianist racists, one and all of you.

Libya and Syria are success stories of obama/Hillary/Kerry.

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

War on women.

She should have started with a question about MO’s efforts to starve school kids, and then hit him the hard Syria stuff.

BobMbx on May 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

& why is Fred Armisen standing there?

portlandon on May 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Guy wants to have his waffle and eat it too.

de rigueur on May 28, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Kerry said, but “we’re not going to pin ourselves down to a precise date, time, manner of action.”

“Not like we did in our withdrawal plans in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

BobMbx on May 28, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Jugears foreign policy failures are never on topic.

ConstantineXI on May 28, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Man up already

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 12:48 PM

That foreign policy pivot is going swimmingly so far.

Like a turd in a pool…………

VegasRick on May 28, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Cozy dinner

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 12:49 PM

“There will be consequences” if evidence of new chemical use is confirmed, Kerry said, but “we’re not going to pin ourselves down to a precise date, time, manner of action.”

To paraphrase Truman,

“If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from hashtags, the like of which has never been seen on Twitter.

Cicero43 on May 28, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Smart Power – reformer

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 12:51 PM

OT: Where is the thread on all the TEA party wins of last night…in Texas?

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 12:54 PM

At least he didn’t tell the Secret Service to “rape her, violently”.

listens2glenn on May 28, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Maybe, she should’ve asked him about his Golf Game….

ToddPA on May 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

someone is going to get audited,

phatfawzi on May 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Wasn’t he ENDING a science fair visit?

originalpechanga on May 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

His NPD is getting worse by the day….

d1carter on May 28, 2014 at 12:56 PM

It’s simply racist to hold this petulant teenager to the same standard as previous presidents.

rbj on May 28, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Amanda Hess noted Obama’s misogyny

faraway on May 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Our foreign policy in Syria is consistent with our foreign policy everywhere else: aiding radical Muslim militants at the expense of the nations being “helped”.

Rix on May 28, 2014 at 12:58 PM

BTW: If you are getting the ‘you’re posting comments too quickly’ notice, just log out and log back in.

faraway on May 28, 2014 at 12:58 PM

OT: Where is the thread on all the TEA party wins of last night…in Texas?

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Not gonna happen. You’ve been here for years, why do you bother asking?

Rix on May 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Maybe, she should’ve asked him about his Golf Game….

ToddPA on May 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

He’s not much better at that than he is at foreign policy.

ConstantineXI on May 28, 2014 at 1:01 PM

You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.

slickwillie2001 on May 28, 2014 at 1:03 PM

How dare she question the Messiah…

sandee on May 28, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Anybody home?

faraway on May 28, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Poor Barack. MSM is picking on him again.

bw222 on May 28, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Log out folks.

faraway on May 28, 2014 at 1:09 PM

This just in:

Melissa Harris tampon claims this woman profits from the sale
of the President’s Stupidity.

ToddPA on May 28, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Would not have treated a male reported that way.

Ben Hur on May 28, 2014 at 4:45 AM

Dangit, you stole my line.

/must read HotGas earlier.

eforhan on May 28, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Would not have treated a male reported that way.

Ben Hur on May 28, 2014 at 4:45 AM

.
War on wimmyns, liberal Democrat community organizer style… combined, of course, with pathological self-absorption.

ExpressoBold on May 28, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Syria is so last year.

mankai on May 28, 2014 at 1:12 PM

If this were any normal administration, I would say that I agree with Obama that it was the wrong time to ask that question, and I can understand his annoyance.

But given that this is The Most Transparent Administration Evah, and therefore they barely ever allow reporters to even take a photograph, much less ask Obama any questions that might make him uncomfortable, I can’t blame the reporter for trying.

And, hey, at least there’s one reporter out there who’s willing to actually dare to ask Obama a question he doesn’t like.

Shump on May 28, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Please Lord open the eyes of some of these reporters and let the see and then ask what is really going on. Ignore the script. Go for the basterds balls. Put the heat on him.

Murphy9 on May 28, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Test

Bmore on May 28, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Very odd behavior HA.

Bmore on May 28, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Very odd behavior HA.

Bmore on May 28, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Indeed

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM

“I’m sorry, we’re doing a science fair — c’mon. C’mon.” Can’t you see there’s no teleprompter in here??!?!?! Sheez!

Harbingeing on May 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Would not have treated a male reported that way.
Ben Hur on May 28, 2014 at 4:45 AM

Yeah but she wouldn’t have treated an all-white preznit that way, so, wash.

Akzed on May 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM

& why is Fred Armisen standing there?

portlandon on May 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Well Carrie Brownstein asked the question.
Fred was gonna try for a follow up.

verbaluce on May 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Whoa! “There will be consequences”?
That’s become a punch line about the Obama administration worthy of SNL if they weren’t so left wing propagandists over there.

Don L on May 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM

why do you bother asking?

Rix on May 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Because it’s fun.

Real Clear Politics had exactly Zero on it last night.

Sure, the TEA party is all dead, I know.

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM

turfmann, FTW.

Guy Benson on May 28, 2014 at 1:20 PM

obama, the Scientist! He’s like the old KGB “science fair” types, in disguise.

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Wasn’t anyone wearing shoes?

rogerb on May 28, 2014 at 1:22 PM

This episode notwithstanding, what are the odds that the reporter did and still drinks of his KoolAid?

freedomfirst on May 28, 2014 at 1:23 PM

“There will be consequences” if evidence of new chemical use is confirmed, Kerry said,

Syrians were quivering when it was learned that the administration is considering not only hashtags, but the strongly worded letter as well.

Yankee Doodle on May 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

“I’m sorry, we’re doing a science fair — c’mon. C’mon.”

Wow, Imagine if GWB had acted like that! Imagine if one of the filthy Obama brats had acted like that to Mooch demanding they pick up their rooms or something. It must nice to be king.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

The president’s response is pointed and peevish.

Midas on May 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Come on…but imagine obama.

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Would he treat a man that way!

Obama’s personal War on Women™.

hepcat on May 28, 2014 at 1:26 PM

& why is Fred Armisen standing there?
portlandon on May 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

He’s going to change into Spike, and be all like, in Barry’s face.

[-[-[ I even rebooted and I'm still getting the "posting too quickly" idiot light...]-]-]

Akzed on May 28, 2014 at 1:28 PM

What about your gaffes?

boone on May 28, 2014 at 1:28 PM

As I was attempting to say……I find this trait in 0 to be one of his finest.

Bmore on May 28, 2014 at 1:29 PM

It sounds as though the US is preparing to respond by training anti-Assad rebels (how thoroughly vetted will they be?)

I’m sure they are mostly vets of all kinds of previous wars, engagements, and terrorist activities. Except for the ones under 12 10, they might be noobs.

Marcola on May 28, 2014 at 1:29 PM

It must nice to be king.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

“I am the KING!!!!!!!” he shouts.

His grandfather, head of the council says “If you have to say that, then you are not a real King.”

Game of Thrones

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Arrogant Petulance is not an aphrodisiac #YesAllWomen

Mord on May 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM

I love how we overthrow stabilizing dictators only to train Al-Qaeda and give them weapons to help further destabilize the region and kill us. It’s almost if it’s a purposeful strategy…

SirGawain on May 28, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Hollywood Hypocrites: Fake Anti-War Movie Stars Who are Silent on Syria

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM

CNN chief: You can’t shame us into covering this Benghazi investigation

HotAir Chief: You can’t shame us into covering Tea Party victories…

Akzed on May 28, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Newtie and the Beauty on May 28, 2014 at 5:29 AM

Gee, I’m SPECIAL!! I posted this at 1.32pm EDT… [commence headscratching and adopt confused [DAMIFINO] look…]

Newtie and the Beauty on May 28, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Again, I don’t object to the president’s skin color, just the thinness of it.

Occams Stubble on May 28, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Gee, I’m SPECIAL!! I posted this at 1.32pm EDT… [commence headscratching and adopt confused [DAMIFINO] look…]

Newtie and the Beauty on May 28, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Happened to me to. Time Jump.

Kiera Cameron will not be happy.

MichaelGabriel on May 28, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Ain’t seen much, yet

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Alternate Headline:

Man Incapable of Doing His Job Snaps at Woman for Properly Doing Hers

And oh yeah, War on Women

P.s. How’s her equal pay status by the way?

parke on May 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM

To see how absurd Obama’s “science fair” defense is, merely change the question:

PRESS: Are you aware, Mr. President, that the Russians just bombed the British Parliament?
OBAMA: We’re doing a science fair, c’mon, c’mon.

PRESS: Mr. President, the Chinese attack on Japan is now entering its second hour, do you have a comment? Are we going to help?
OBAMA: We’re doing a science fair, c’mon, c’mon.

PRESS: Mr. President, an Iranian nuclear warhead has detonated in downtown Tel Aviv.
OBAMA: We’re doing a science fair, c’mon, c’mon.

Add a beats track and some music and it turns into a song. You could call it the Obama Jive Shuffle, but that would be inappropriate.

IndieDogg on May 28, 2014 at 1:57 PM

That uppity woman needs to learn her place. Why did she have to inject race into it? All she had to do was check her advance sheet that reads, “Bin Laden is dead.” Couldn’t she have just asked him, “Boxers or briefs” like that other gal did a few ago? #AllWomen want to know.

texacalirose on May 28, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM

“The King is tired. Perhaps some essence of night shade to help him sleep.”

LetsBfrank on May 28, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Since the first 8 commenters on this thread were able to jump back in time to 5:00 A.M., let’s see if we can jump back to 2008 and fix this Obama problem.

Now that would be a science project.

MichaelGabriel on May 28, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Don’t worry about her. She knows her place. She’ll go back to hoping and praying that Obama leaves an extra big tip on the nightstand as he dresses, and leaves the bedroom.

307wolverine on May 28, 2014 at 2:21 PM

With every PIVOT, another SCREW-UP!

GarandFan on May 28, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Now that would be a science project.

MichaelGabriel on May 28, 2014 at 2:09 PM

One of those “If they knew now what was hidden then, and proven TRUE” kind of deals?

Most interesting indeed…

Newtie and the Beauty on May 28, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Odd that when you let the president treat you like a cheap whore, he treats you like a cheap whore.

Immolate on May 28, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Just let me eat my arugula!

neyney on May 28, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Since the first 8 commenters on this thread were able to jump back in time to 5:00 A.M., let’s see if we can jump back to 2008 and fix this Obama problem.

Now that would be a science project.

MichaelGabriel on May 28, 2014 at 2:09 PM

The year to go to would be 1961.

slickwillie2001 on May 28, 2014 at 2:47 PM

So I guess there is a red line Barry will adhere to. Go figure.

And keep dreaming that the media will eventually wake up and start ripping O. If they are willing to wait passively in maintenance sheds and bedrooms for a chance to glimpse at their beloved King Barack, they will suffer through just about anything. Face it, the only thing that will get them to do their jobs is a Republican in the White House.

rcpjr on May 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Gee, I remember when Sam Donaldson and Bill Plante made a point of screaming questions at Reagan, regardless of the venue.

Oh, yeah; old, white, Republican, Conservative…

American…

formwiz on May 28, 2014 at 3:54 PM

A petulant little man.

danite on May 28, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Obama is a narcissistic, incompetent, petulant boob. He would be a joke except that a joke is funny and destroying the country is not funny.

Theophile on May 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Video: Obama snaps at reporter for asking ‘off topic’ Syria question

Sure, the guy’s a punk at the height of Punkdom, but I remember both Bush’s and Reagan avoiding certain questions, too. It’s the way they play the game.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 28, 2014 at 4:08 PM

That Texas TP story is obviously a local story….

d1carter on May 28, 2014 at 4:17 PM

That Texas TP story is obviously a local story….

d1carter on May 28, 2014 at 4:17 PM

We have been following such “local” stories on Hot Air for a long, long time now.

Theophile on May 28, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Only two and a half more years of putting up with this cupcake.

HiJack on May 28, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Kerry said, but “we’re not going to pin ourselves down to a precise date, time, manner of action.”

Translation: We have not a clue what we can do about it at this time, not even a good believable lie.

Franklyn on May 28, 2014 at 4:54 PM

The president’s response is pointed and peevish. He’s visibly angry that she exploited an opening to ask about reports that the United States is stepping up efforts to aid and train Syrian rebels.

The American people have no need to know anything until it time to tell them what they need to know.

He might have been angry to have been asked that question, but the tone of the response seems to indicated that he was not prepared to answer. The anger seems to be more at a reporter taking the opportunity to ambush him with a question when they know, he only answers questions that he was prepared to answer from reporters cleared to ask the approved question. The body language as he walked away displayed that annoyance, but it also evidenced his narcissist ego stroked at being able to dismiss the reporter and walk away in a demonstration of just how unimportant she and the question is to him.

Franklyn on May 28, 2014 at 5:06 PM

She should probably go home and get all her papers in order for the notice of the IRS audit that is in the mail, and keep in mind that all phone and email are now third party events.

Franklyn on May 28, 2014 at 5:09 PM

He doesn’t want to answer any questions about Syria until he’s had a chance to listen to her new album.

Bruce MacMahon on May 28, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Only two and a half more years of putting up with this cupcake meadow muffin.
HiJack on May 28, 2014 at 4:29 PM

FIFY

hawkeye54 on May 28, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Wow what a immature,thin skinned 50 something year old “president”…

sorrowen on May 28, 2014 at 5:38 PM

The press is always so unfair to him. Like that time they made him answer “like 8 questions”.

RINO in Name Only on May 28, 2014 at 5:47 PM

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