Monday, June 29, 2009

Nico Pitney and Dana Milbank Smackdown

The controversy about Obama's June 23 news conference and the planted question from Nico Pitney of the Huffington Post is still boiling.

Dana Milbank is really ticked off about it. He devoted his June 24 column to Pitney, the White House, and the planted question.

Yesterday morning on CNN's Reliable Sources, Milbank and Pitney locked horns over the issue.

Milbank isn't going to let the collusion between the Obama White House and the Huffington Post die.


Here's the transcript, from NewsBusters.

Pitney has more on his exchange with Milbank.

He writes on the Huffington Post:

This morning, Dana Milbank, Amanda Carpenter, and I appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources, hosted by Howard Kurtz.

It was a spirited affair and folks can draw their own conclusions....

The only thing that surprised me was when Dana turned to me after our initial sparring and called me a "dick" in a whispered tone (the specific phrase was, I believe, "You're such a dick"). Howie Kurtz wrote on Twitter that he didn't hear it, which is understandable -- he was doing the lead-in for the next part of the segment on the ABC White House special. But it happened (I urge Howie to watch the video of the panel during the ABC intro) and it was frankly pretty odd.

I object to the White House planting a question. Obama should have been forthcoming about the question being arranged beforehand. It would have been simple enough. Instead, what we got was a staged dance, an unnecessary bit of deception.

I'm with Milbank on the inappropriateness of the theatrics.

If Milbank did indeed call Pitney a "dick," he didn't conduct himself very well. The alleged name-calling was not a proud moment for Milbank. This all seems to be getting very personal and childish.

However, the fact that Pitney would put that comment on the Huffington Post, makes him seem a bit childish, too.

Is this journalism or junior high drivel?

The juvenile remarks aside, it was wrong for the White House to plant a question in a presidential news conference and it was wrong for the Huffington Post to cooperate.

The Huffington Post is in bed with Obama. That's obvious.

On the bright side, if the Pitney planted question incident causes other news outlets to be tougher on Obama and quit giving his adminstration a pass, then that's a good thing.

No comments: