- - Monday, July 20, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There’s nothing quite like the look of a jerk whose smug omniscience gets shattered by a singular sound — that of a reporter asking a serious question. Normally, the only sound President Obama experiences from journalists is the slurping one hears when boots are being licked.

So yes, when CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett asked a serious question during Mr. Obama’s Iran-dealappalooza press conference, it rattled the president, the legacy media and all who so enjoy Mr. Obama’s shiny, shiny boots.

Mr. Garrett, well-respected by his colleagues with a reputation for being a serious and solid news reporter, dared to ask about something on the minds of most Americans. He was blunt in his phrasing because, no, the president is not an infant:

“As you well know, there are four Americans in Iran — three held on trumped up charges according to your administration, one, whereabouts unknown. Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content, with all of the fanfare around this [nuclear] deal to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for, in relation to these four Americans?”

The look on Mr. Obama’s face was priceless — a combination of rage, shock and surprise. At one point he actually looked down and away. Was he taking a time-out from the overwhelming affront posed by the pesky Mr. Garrett? Was he going to cry because someone mentioned he had no clothes? Had Major not received the memo that one does not ask obvious questions about monumentally important issues lest they embarrass Mr. Obama?

Finally, our petulant-in-chief responded: “I’ve got to give you credit, Major, for how you craft those questions. The notion that I am content, as I celebrate with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails — Major, that’s nonsense. And you should know better … .”

You should know better? Well, pretty much all the other reporters “know better” than to ask Mr. Obama one of the many uncomfortable questions wandering around the White House like large, pink elephants adorned with daisy decals.

There are questions that should be shouted at Mr. Obama constantly, by the press and everyone else who encounters Mr. Obama, a Category 5 hurricane wearing a person-suit, such as:

“Mr. President, it’s summer of 2015 and we still don’t know where you were on the night of Sept. 11, 2012. Where were you, and as a follow up, regardless of your answer, why have you been refusing to tell us?”

“We now know your administration knew virtually right away that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was a planned terrorist attack. Why did you and Secretary Clinton proceed for days and weeks with the fiction that it was due to a YouTube video?”

Iran has just given Syria’s Assad $1 billion, which would likely not have been possible without the cash influx due to the nuke negotiations. Will you feel responsible for the deaths that will occur now that Assad has been made stronger?”

“We learned earlier this year from the Associated Press that an internal Pentagon investigation in 2010 determined Bowe Bergdahl had deserted. Since this would have been known to you when you made the Bergdahl-Taliban trade, why did you invite his parents to the Rose Garden and have National Security Adviser Susan Rice tell the nation Sgt. Bergdahl served with ‘honor and distinction’ when you knew that wasn’t true?”

“Mr. President, why did you get personally involved and comment on the killings of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, and yet remain silent on the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco? Do all lives matter to you, or just those who look like they could be your sons or daughters?”

“If Iran gets the nuclear bomb and uses it on Israel, will an apology from you be enough?”

I know, I know, these questions would likely make Mr. Obama, and everyone else who prefers to live in his fantasy world, very uncomfortable. But they are questions that exist solely due to Mr. Obama’s actions and decisions. They are questions that a free press in a free country must ask if those in power are to be held accountable.

The appalled reaction by the left and the legacy media to a journalist doing his job confirms how decimated much of American news media has become. It also reveals that they know they’ve abandoned their principles, and apparently like it that way.

Mr. Garrett reminds us frequently what a real reporter does: question power. Hopefully, it will also remind other so-called journalists what their job really is.

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host.

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