CURL: Obama snubs black press

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None of it mattered, though, because Mr. Obama called reporters from a list on the podium, and reporters buzzed afterward about how he didn’t seem to know a single reporter he called on - at least in the front row.

“And let me go to Jennifer Loven at AP,” the president said, looking to his left, and then back a row or two before finding the AP reporter front and center, about eight feet from the podium. “Ah, there you are.”

“Caren Bohan of Reuters?” he said after finishing a long economics tutorial. He looked left and right before finding the red-headed reporter - right next to Miss Loven.

“All right. Chuck Todd. Where’s Chuck?” Mr. Obama said before finding the goateed reporter in the third row. “Ed Henry. Where’s Ed? CNN. There he is,” he said shortly after Mr. Henry stood up. “Major Garrett. Where is Major?” he said before finding the reporter back in the cheap seats.

While Mr. Obama didn’t call on Mr. Schultz in the front row, he did skip giant national newspapers like USA Today and The Wall Street Journal in favor of the Huffington Post, which didn’t disappoint.

“Sam Stein, Huffington Post. Where’s Sam?”

“Right here.”

“There. Go ahead.”

“Today, Senator Patrick Leahy announced that he wants to set up a truth and reconciliation committee to investigate the misdeeds of the Bush administration. He said that before you turn the page, you have to read - read the page first. Do you agree with such a proposal? And are you willing to rule out right here and now any prosecution of Bush administration officials?”

The first post-partisan president paused, then answered. “My view is also that nobody’s above the law, and if there are clear instances of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted just like any ordinary citizen.”

The president ticked through all the usual suspects, calling on the three wires and all five networks before hitting The Washington Post and New York Times, both of whom sent black reporters. The only other question from outside the box was from NPR.

“Mara Liasson?” the president said as he scanned the crowd.

Joseph Curl can be contacted at jcurl@washington

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