'The exchange' between CNN's Ed Henry and President Obama has generated a fair amount of media chatter since the March 24th press conference. Henry, too, has offered his take on "what happened." He concludes the narrative with an observation on the difference between the Republican and Democratic response to his question and the president's answer:
"More comical to me was the flood of e-mail I got from Democratic and Republican sources. Invariably, my Democratic friends tweaked along the lines of "how'd you like the smackdown" because they were pleased the president pushed back. But my Republican friends hailed me by saying essentially, "Thanks for doing your job -- he never answered the question." So the exchange was a great political Rorschach: Each party saw their own talking points in the reflection of the back-and-forth."
There are a number of points worth noting in this passage, from the blurring of the distinction between 'sources' and 'friends' to the idea that a reporter is doing a good job when his questions go unanswered. However, despite Henry's awkward phrasing, the "comical" aspect of the partisan split in the response is perhaps the most interesting, akin to an ideological vanishing act. Each side reads its spin into the scene, and the truth disappears from the political press.

No comments: