You work for the New York Times as a White House correspondent. You get prime-time exposure when you’re chosen to ask the President a question at a high-profile press conference. Do you ask him about war, pestilence, famine, legislation, or even the idiocy of the Air Force One buzzing New York City? Not if you’re Jeff Zeleny.
I know AP already posted about this, but I can’t resist blogging about it. How bad was this question? Even Barack Obama made fun of it, as Zeleny’s colleagues laughed at him for asking it.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office? Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?
OBAMA: Now let me write this down.
OBAMA: I’ve got …
Q: Surprised, troubled …
OBAMA: I’ve got — what was the first one?
OBAMA: Enchanted, nice.
Q: And humbled.
OBAMA: And what was the last one, humbled?
Q: Humbled. Thank you, sir.
Michelle calls Zeleny the Perry Como of the press corps, but Como didn’t suck up to the powerful and famous when in the national spotlight. Instead, I’d call him the Amy Adams of the White House press corps, meaning no offense to the talented young star of Enchanted. I’m surprised Zeleny didn’t break into this song:
How do we know Zeleny loves Obama? He wants to know what enchants the President. Maybe Ed Henry and Jake Tapper can pull him aside and give Zeleny a few tips on how to avoid embarrassing himself the next time. Tommy Christopher knows better.
Update: Tom Maguire delivers the killer blow: “The President was far too kind to answer that he was most enchanted by the Times probing, hard-hitting journalism.”