• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • "Did You Feel the Earthquake, Mr. President?" and 10 Questions He Wasn't Asked

    It gets pretty boring to watch conservatives endlessly complain about a fawning press corps, and a biased media. Yes, a majority of the national media is left-leaning; even they will admit as much. Some journalists put political views aside, and do an excellent job of delivering the news. Others can’t bear to avoid political commentary. You can provide your own examples here.

    But the problem conservatives have these days can’t just be prescribed to one individual journalist, but more to “group-think” deciding what is and isn’t a national story. And according to the Washington journalist group-think, the oil spill clean-up is definitely not a story. And according to the Washington journalist group-think, the president is doing an a-ok job responding the crisis. Both of these conclusions aren’t only wrong, but leave the citizens of the Gulf vulnerable to the long-term consequences of inaction.

    Take today’s Rose Garden press conference. President Obama gave an update on the hopefully successful, yet temporary, capping of the oil well which is the source of all of the problems in the Gulf. It was only his third public mention of the crisis in over a month since he declared war on the environmental disaster in the Oval Office.

    Obama smartly reminded everyone that the crisis is not over. What he did not do was address one single aspect of the ongoing clean-up, his reasoning for defying federal court orders to end the unnecessary drilling moratorium, or give a clear indication that he understands the human aspect to this crisis. He opened it up for questions, and the White House Pool Reporter for the day, Paula Cruickshank of CCH asked this question first:

    “Did you feel the earthquake, Mr. President?”

    See, early in the morning, Washington experienced a very minor earthquake that was the talk of Twitter but had no real world effects. It was simply an interesting gossip-item if anything. Knowing if its shake, rattles and rolls were felt in the White House would make for an interesting side note to the stories tomorrow, but really it wouldn’t deliver an ounce of news to anyone. (He didn’t feel it by the way, which demonstrates how awesome a spectacle it wasn’t) So why was it asked?

    Because asking tough questions of the president, related to the oil spill, would expose the incompetent response this disaster has been met with, and the press corps simply doesn’t want to cover that story. Are they subconsciously trying to protect the president’s image? Maybe. Conspiracy theorists would add that it’s, in fact, conscious. Whatever the reasoning, it’s a disservice to their readers, listeners or viewers in the Gulf States.

    The press corps did manage to ask him if he would return to the Gulf. He said he might, in the next couple weeks, maybe. The plans for his Maine vacation and tee times are set in stone. His return to, in his words, the “worst environmental disaster America has ever faced”? Tentative. A good follow-up question would have been: ‘Why are you not devoting public time or attention to this crisis?” Or how about:

    1. Mr. President, why is your administration blocking permits to safely protect the waters and eco-system of southern Louisiana?
    2. Mr. President, if the next hurricane hits in the next month, sweeping oil far inland and halting response efforts, will you regret the countless days of good weather your administration wasted dithering?
    3. Mr. President, why is every available skimmer in the United States not in the Gulf of Mexico?
    4. Mr. President, what offers of international assistance are you refusing, and why?
    5. Mr. President, why are contracted workers only spending 20 minutes an hour working, and being stopped from working at night?
    6. Mr. President, is there any federal court decision blocking your moratorium that you’ll abide by, and if not, why are you ignoring the judicial branch’s role?
    7. Mr. President, why won’t you release the details of the contract you negotiated with BP for liability claims, and why is the claims process not transparent to state and local elected officials?
    8. Mr. President, what is your reaction to offshore rigs leaving the Gulf of Mexico due to your moratorium? What do you have to say to the rig workers who have lost their jobs as a result of your decision?
    9. Mr. President, will the Cap and Trade bill you are trying to sell as a result of this crisis do one thing to prevent a future crisis, and specifically, what is that?
    10. Mr. President, do you regret any inaction on the part of the federal government?

    Any of these ten questions would be honest journalistic oversight of a White House. None of them carry a political agenda. All of them would provide insight into the response. Yet none of them were asked, once, in the past three months.

    This morning, the New York Times devoted a 41-word paragraph of a 1500-word A1 story to the fact that oil still remains in the Gulf. And in that paragraph, the federal responsibility for the clean-up efforts was not mentioned, nor scrutinized.

    So yes, conservatives complain often about the media. But it is questions like “did you feel the earthquake, Mr. President?” which fuel this distrust, and cause us all to wonder if anyone is holding the president accountable for his incompetence.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    24 Responses to "Did You Feel the Earthquake, Mr. President?" and 10 Questions He Wasn't Asked

    1. Chris (Virginia) says:

      About a pertinent and relative a question as any others that were left totally unasked by a media in which there is a paucity of inquring minds that wish to know (anything, that is, that might upset their primary focus and adoration).

      As long as these lap dogs don't mess on the carpet or growl at the Anointed One's friends they will continue to be allowed to bask in his presence.

      Journalism, indeed! Deader than week-old Interstate road kill.

    2. Scott Stevens says:

      Should we expect anything less from "journalists" who spend their time sucking-up to a former Constitutional Lawyer Professor who is a Marxist? People, his agenda does not involve the good of America. It's the spread of atheistic socialism. Wake up! If you think he is ignorant about what he is doing, think again. Too bad the media lost its will to be critical long ago.

    3. John, Illinois says:

      Well, we shouldn't be surprised. This follows last year's dumb question from the NY Times' Jeff Zeleny about what surprised the president the most, humbled him the most, etc., about being president.

      These are all legit questions posed by Heritage Foundation, and none of them would have an agenda behind them. As stated, they are legit questions. Somehow I think if Bush were president all of these questions would have been asked multiple times, some with an agenda and some not. In fact, Bush would have been hammered!

    4. alan cicinato, claym says:

      Why don't they ask The One if he smokes menthol or regular? And why does the Enlightened One smoke at all?

    5. Christopher Lee (Vir says:

      A question that ought to be posed, not to Obama, but to the oil community as a whole, is "Why did this happen?" We have received a bedazzling array of answers and technical figures which do not cover up the fact that BP ought to have had a contingency plan for this sort of situation.

      Blowouts, above, and below the water are no strangers to the oil industry. In fact, even the renewable energy startups are well aware of how geothermal wells require blowout safety mechanisms.

      The question, then, is why on Earth did BP not have a secondary failure method? While we should be asking questions to the president, it's also instructive to see what really went wrong here– and why compliance with environmental regulation is a good thing.

      I will candidly admit that I am a liberal; but as a debater, I read Heritage routinely to get the other side.

    6. O'Bonehead, Was says:

      They HAD to ask him a fluffy question….c'mon, he's only a community organizer. It isn't like he has a clue about what's going on around him!

    7. Tnacgal says:

      Or…here's one for the press…

      Mr president, do you wonder if God is ticked and Is forewarning a good HOUSE cleaning?

      Hey, it's just as reasonable as any question because we already know they aren't going to ask any question that his highness hasn't preapproved! Darn those pesky questions, he probably missed his morning golf lesson due to screening press question. If only he could have invisible prompters. Lol!!!

    8. Alex Simic, Windsor says:

      Mr. President: How will the moratorium affect George Soros and Petrobras?

    9. Steve Westberg, Vanc says:

      This president ran on the democrat label, He is not democrat.

      He is accomplishing everything I believe his agenda dictates. His agenda to dismantle the fundamental structure and integrity of this country if paramount. Will it be too late to save the better part of this country when Obama can not escape his un-American values? Hope not. Will the people voted in office have the heart to get this country back on track? Have not seen that drive on record lately.

      Americans, we need to stand our ground…somehow.

    10. Wes in Cincy says:

      When it comes to Obama, the mainstream media is anything but mainstream.

      Obama is on his game when he is campaigning and making speeches, but when the clown sits down in the Oval Office and there is no adoring crowd to applaud

      his every word, he shrinks so small his feet won't even touch the floor.

      This country doesn't need a Hollywood President, we need someone who really knows what they are doing.

    11. Glenn Richardson, No says:

      Mr. President, why don't you release all your personal records and stop this speculation about your elgibility to serve as President as prescribed by our Constitution?

    12. Tim, San Diego says:

      Here is San Diego we get 3.6 quakes almost every day. Most are not felt at all. Why didn't she ask a more relevant question such as "Do you prefer boxers or briefs?

    13. Cody, Birmingham, AL says:

      What happened to your promise made to Bart Stupak that no federal money would be spent on abortions?

    14. Mark in Arizona says:

      Note to self, everyone: Next time, elect a president, not a radical leftist rock-star! The way they're heading, there just might not be another chance.

    15. Jennifer, Utah says:

      I am grateful that the Heritage Foundation has published this article and that there are others out there willing to comment on it! :) The President has been acting irresponsibly since Day 1, and the press corps seems quite content with that behavior. In fact, they are encouraging it by their ridiculous decision to ignore the real-world events around them. The President was elected to serve (as well as to lead) the people of this nation and this is just one example of his decision to ignore that responsibility. By his actions and lack of actions, he is showing us where his true priorities lie. Too bad we really aren't on the list. :(

    16. Centralia, Illinois says:

      I am so very disgusted with this entire administration! I can hardly bare to watch the president of the United States stand up and lie, lie, lie to the american people. I pray everyday for the Lord to protect us from this administration. We need time to get him and his croonies out of power!!! Until then, I'm afraid the elite media will continue this ridiculous notion of covering the White House. They should be ashamed but they're not. They are so busy adding their own take on every situation they have forgotten how to be non-biased. They don't cover the news…they give opinions…Who needs that??? Not me. I need facts not fiction. That's why I watch the news.

    17. Ann, Philadelphia says:

      I agree with O'Bonehead. This is what happens when you elect someone with no executive experience. Obama is a college professor, not an executive, and this is not a diss against college professors because I am one. Running a country is a lot more complex than delivering a lecture or writing a theoretical paper.

    18. Kim, coast of Maine says:

      Now that the Obamas are shaking up the tourist business here in Maine, it is becoming even more clear that he is on a path of disruption. The height of the critical summer tourist season. The president's travel plans were contained in a cryptic press release. No further information.

      Suddenly, the primary route to the country's second most visited national park, Acadia, is closed. High season. Irate travelers. Businesses losing business. Secret Service agents everywhere. Jets flying overhead 24/7, disrupting the peace, the quiet…and sleep.

      We here in Maine are adept at making lemonade out of lemons, but the gulf crisis is one of many disruptions Obama is creating, with very dire consequenses for all of us.

    19. Denny Hinds, Rockfor says:

      Wouldn't it be cool to do a "mock" press conference with someone who isn't a liberal and that person gets asked these 10 questions and some fluff questions as well. This person would give the straight answers to the real questions and then redirect the questioner back to the real issues when asked the fluff questions. We might as well get some entertainment value from this administration because that is all it's good for. I respect the office he holds but do not respect the man or his philosophy.

    20. Dave, Sturgis, Michi says:

      Drink the Koolaid long enough and you may be awed to merely be in the same state as the Great One too… The next question to the Great One from these Obama devotees may be "Do you prefer Fruit of the Loom or Hanes brand underwear"?

      Shuck and Jive is all Obama has been giving us since he uttered his first teleprompter quote. The real question is, who writes the wisdom this buffoon spreads and who controls the strings on this puppet?

    21. Pingback: Spencer, Ia Tea Party Patriots Blog » “Did You Feel the Earthquake, Mr. President?”

    22. eps (denver) says:

      Why don't you clear the air and show the nation a copy of your real birth cerificant with a raised seal? If you will not , then explain why?

      Will you allow a complete audit of your campaign donations? If now why not?

      Why do you appoint left wing marxist socialist to your administration? Why did you allow Van Jones in the White House, he is a communist? Explain?

    23. Pingback: Haynesville Shale Education Center | Lousiana Oil and Gas Association

    24. Pingback: Obama’s Top Six Gas Price Myths Busted | The Foundry

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×