Q: Is it disrespectful to shout questions at the president? A: It depends on who’s president

Q: Is it disrespectful to shout questions at the president? A: It depends on who’s president
Kaitlan Collins (Image: YouTube screen grab)

The White House is taking fire for banning a CNN reporter from covering the next event. The action was taken after Kaitlan Collins, channeling her CNN colleague Jim Acosta, began shouting out questions to President Trump during a press spray on Wednesday and refused to leave after being repeatedly asked to.

Collins was then informed “she was not welcome to participate in the next event,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, emphasizing that that another journalist from the network would be permitted to attend.

Among the outlets criticizing the administration for its punitive actions is Fox News, whose Brett Baier weighed in on the kerfuffle on last night’s edition of  “Special Report.” Others have followed suit, claiming that when Fox News was in Barack Obama’s cross hairs, other networks — including CNN — came to Fox’s defense.

To test the veracity of that claim, I invite readers to view a video of that president dealing with an almost identical set of circumstances. The occasion was an LGBT Pride Month celebration at the White House in June of 2016. Obama was in the middle of a speech when a heckler interrupted. Obama not only admonished the interloper, wagging his finger, but informed him “You’re in my house” — which of course is false. He must have been aware of that because a year earlier his administrator opened a new White House Visitor Center, announcing as much on the official White House blog under the heading “Opening the People’s House.

As you watch the video, note the behavior of other guests, who applaud enthusiastically when the heckler is removed, then break into a spontaneous chant of Obama’s name.

If the difference in reactions to the two incidents reveals anything it is the double standard that the press adheres to in its reaction to presidents of the United States, or more specifically to their ideologies.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."


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