15 June 2012

“I have no intention of interrupting the President”

This week’s example of OIP Derangement Syndrome comes from Neil Munro, reporter for the right-wing website Daily Caller, who interrupted President Barack Obama’s Rose Garden statement on immigration-law enforcement by shouting.

Munro later claimed, “I timed the question believing the President was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States.”

That excuse is not believable. The transcript shows that President Obama was in the middle of a paragraph, with eight paragraphs of his prepared statement to go. In fact, he was in the middle of a sentence. Furthermore, even after it was clear that Obama wasn’t finished, Munro shouted out again.

Obviously Munro did have the “intention of interrupting the President of the United States.” That experiment was run, and the results are on tape. Munro’s excuse didn’t fool other reporters who were there. While he might wish to deny what he did, that denial of his visceral responses and motivations is part of OIP Derangement Syndrome.

Munro and his employer have claimed that such aggressive questioning was necessary. But when Obama directly addressed Munro’s question, the reporter interrupted again before the end of a short sentence. Furthermore, the President had held a formal press conference on 8 June, only one week earlier. He’s held more than twice as many solo press conferences (31) at this point in his presidency as his predecessor (14), and sat for more interviews (441) than his two predecessors combined (322). People who suffer from OIP Derangement Syndrome push away such facts because the very sight of Barack Obama as President discomfits them.

It’s curious that Munro shouted, “Why do you favor foreigners over American workers?” He came to the US from Ireland in the 1980s. He’d have had more credibility asking what the new policy implied for immigrants who follow US rules. But then he wasn’t really seeking an answer; he was shouting at a President he doesn’t want to respect.

I’m more curious about Munro’s commentary of Republicans’ recent accusations about security leaks since Munro’s LinkedIn profile boasts: “I unveiled a bunch of secret programs, including a polar-orbiting, missile-tracking satellite, and the Navy’s test stealth-ship.” Of course, the essence of OIP Derangement Syndrome is different standards for different people.


Richard said...

Guy's a troll pure and simple, not a reporter. Even to call him a reporter is to give him dignity he hasn't earned. It also turns out that in a past job as an alleged science reporter (!!!) he wrote articles lending credibility to the anti-vaccine movement, which means he's barely a step away from having done actual measurable harm to children.

I'm gratified to see some Republican voices calling for this troll and the Daily Caller itself to be barred from press briefings. Though that may have as much to do with infighting directed against Tucker Carlson as anything else. One imagines some of those same voices would be calling for a left-wing agitator to be placed under immediate arrest if a Republican President had his or her remarks similarly disrupted...

J. L. Bell said...

Another regular Oz and Ends reader noted how all the working journalists around Munro in the photo above have their cameras and notebooks out. He has his hands in his pockets. Obviously he’s not interested in taking down President Obama’s response to what he's shouting.

Some Republicans have indeed criticized Munro's behavior, as well as some journalists from the right. Still, I doubt anyone can recall a left-wing or centrist journalist behaving like this at a White House ceremony.