The White House press corps is overly deferential to President Barack Obama, say several veteran journalists, including Pulitzer Prize winners, who covered presidents from John Kennedy to George W. Bush. They say this journalistic meekness has taken away the importance of presidential press conferences, Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report
And the timidity didn’t begin during the Obama presidency, the veterans say. "If you watch an Obama news conference, and watched a Bush news conference previous to that, where correspondents sit in their seats with their hands folded on their laps, [it's] as if they are in the room with a monarch and they have to wait to be recognized by the president," says Sid Davis, the former NBC Washington bureau chief who covered nine presidents. "It looks like they are watching a funeral service at [Washington funeral firm] Joseph Gawler's, and it shouldn't be that way."
Haynes Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post, agrees. "It's all very stale, very structured, very pale," he says.
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