Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Presidential Press Conferences
Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post
These "Ask the President" events are no substitute for news conferences.
As White House press corps veteran and columnist Helen Thomas recently put it in an interview in the Progressive: "The President of the United States should be able to answer any question, or at least dance around one. At some time -- early and often -- he should submit to questioning and be held accountable, because if you don't have that then you only have one side of the story. The Presidential news conference is the only forum in our society, the only institution, where a President can be questioned. If a leader is not questioned, he can rule by edict or executive order. He can be a king or a dictator. Who's to challenge him? We're there to pull his chain and to ask the questions that should be asked every day, for every move."