CBS News' Chip Reid Talks About Obama Refusal to Answer Questions at "Press Freedom Act" Signing - Video 5/18/10
Here's a great follow-up on the video of President Obama today signing the "Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act," and then refusing to answer any questions from the assembled media.
Turns out, the person taking the lead in trying ask Obama some questions was Chip Reid of CBS News. In this video Reid explains he tried to ask the questions as a way of expressing the frustration of the press that Obama does "so little in the way of press conferences." Reid said Obama does a lot of interviews, but tries to avoid the press conferences that force him to answer impromptu questions.
When asked about what happened, Reid said:
"I thought the irony was too rich to resist it, that he signed the "Freedom of the Press Act," and then as he did on Friday after he gave his statement in the Rose Garden about BP, I suspected he was going to refuse to take questions here too. So, I asked him a question about BP. He ignored it, and I said, "Mr. President, in the interest of Press Freedom, might you consider a couple of questions on BP?" And I did get a little bit of a smile out of him, and he said, "Well, you can ask the questions, Chip," and somebody else said, "Well, will you answer them?" And he said, "Well, this is not a press conference today, we'll be getting back to you later in the week."