Could the DC Press Corps Be More Vapid?

They seem to have an extreme aversion to substance.

MSNBC's First Read had an item yesterday about the president's prime-time news conference, which it called a "snoozer," and criticized Obama for his depth and substantive responses. (via DougJ)

"Honest question: Is there a point when the president knows too much about an issue?" First Read asked. "He got into the weeds a number of times on a number of different aspects of health care, which is what his diehard supporters love, but might not grab the attention of the average viewer."

Apparently, the president may have done more to impress if he'd talked down to the country.

Paul Krugman is right to seem frustrated.

The talking heads on cable TV panned President Obama's Wednesday press conference. You see, he didn't offer a lot of folksy anecdotes.

Shame on them. The health care system is in crisis. The fate of America's middle class hangs in the balance. And there on our TVs was a president with an impressive command of the issues, who truly understands the stakes.

This might be less frustrating if it weren't so common. There are notable exceptions, but too many major media figures not only steer clear of policy details, they seem genuinely annoyed by those who prefer more substance in the discourse.

It leads to "honest" questions, such as whether the president would be better off in the reform debate if he knew less about the issue.

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."
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