We may have to start calling this week’s OOTD selections the Fine Whine category. Yesterday, we noted Barack Obama’s complaint to Chip Reid that the American press never asks him about how people often compliment him. Newsbusters captures another whiny moment from the President at the press conference in Japan on Monday. The pool report includes this exchange after an Australian reporter thanked Obama after an answer to his question:
“I knew it must have been an Australian because my folks never say thank you,” Obama said.
At that, the entire American pool said in unison — admittedly with a bit of sarcasm — “Thank you, Mr. President.”
PM Gillard could be heard chiming in, “There are a few cheeky Australians here.”
Sarcasm? No kidding. Generally speaking, a President holds press conferences to get his messaging out past the editors and pundits in the media, although Obama has had so few of them that perhaps most of the press corps has forgotten that. Lachlan Markey puts it in perspective:
At first glance, Obama’s comment reeks of arrogance. He seems to think that press access is a privilege, not a right, and that he is under no obligation to even speak to reporters.
But remember, Obama’s media approach has been notable in that he has often circumvented traditional reporters in favor of new media and social networks. In doing so, he has been able to avoid tough questions, while still getting his message out – often to more people than would see, for instance, a cable news broadcast.
Or, put more simply: no one needs to thank Obama for occasionally doing his job.
Update: Via Ted C, perhaps this is what Obama has in mind for the press corps when he demands their gratitude. Hey, there’s never a bad time for an Animal House reference!
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!