Obama: Gee, maybe Biden could have phrased it differently

It’s been nearly two months since Barack Obama opened himself to questions from the White House press corps, and as long since he’s done a hard-news one-on-one interview.  Yesterday, though, he gave two hard-hitting interviews to … People and Entertainment Tonight.  In the first, he scoffed at the notion that Joe Biden meant anything racial when he told a Danville, Virginia crowd that “they goin’ to put y’all back in chains.”  By the time Obama and the First Lady did the ET hit with reporter Nancy O’Dell, Obama softened his position to allow that Biden’s phrasing was “a distraction.”

What changed?  Oh, yes … Obama had finally gotten around to listening to Biden’s speech:

Hey, maybe Entertainment Tonight is more hard-hitting than we knew!  They got Obama to implicitly admit that he’d defended Biden earlier without qualification while not bothering to find out what Biden said.  Quick, what’s the ET position on Medicare reform?  Totally hot or box-office poison?

The panel at Morning Joe this morning wasn’t as, er, entertained by Obama’s press availability.  “It’s a curious election,” Joe Scarborough sighed.  “Where do I go to get my weighty interview?” Scarborough asked derisively.  “I go to Nancy O’Dell.”

Scarborough isn’t picking on O’Dell, of course.  He’s criticizing a President who seems to be afraid of his own press corps.