Video: White House press corps stands for Obama but not for Bush
This one’s making the rounds but I’m not sure why. Isn’t this standard chivalrous behavior when you’re in love? If The One were forced to trod upon a muddy path, wouldn’t you expect Chuck Todd or Helen Thomas to lay their coats over it for him?
Actually, there’s a more mundane explanation. Sort of.
It’s a long-standing practice for reporters to rise when the president enters the East Room for a news conference, but that hasn’t been the case in the briefing room.
I checked with two colleagues who served as senior wire service reporters during the Bush Presidency and who, in matters of press protocol, the rest of us followed.
“The briefing room is always a more informal place,” says Steve Holland of Reuters.
But the principal reason reporters remained in their seats, he said, was not to block the shot of TV cameramen and still photographers in the back of the room who were trying to make a picture of the president’s walk-in…
When some reporters stood up for President Obama last Friday, they forgot about the needs of their colleagues in the back of the room as well as the less formal atmosphere of the briefing room. Certainly it was a sign of respect for the president, but not one of disrespect for his predecessor.
Doesn’t that … basically prove the point of the video? Okay, fine, they’re not anti-Bush. They’re just really, really pro-Obama. Whew!
Update: Slate’s John Dickerson backs up CBS’s report and says the press corps was taken by surprise last Friday.