On the O’Reilly Factor yesterday evening, fill-in host Juan Williams and guest Geraldo Rivera took on President Obama for “ducking the press” and not holding a White House press conference in several months.
“It’s been 59 days since President Obama had a news conference with White House reporters,” Williams began. “Yet he found time to do interviews with People magazine, Entertainment Tonight, and New Mexico’s pop music station KOB-FM,” where he was subjected to questions about his favorite Mexican food and work-out songs.
“If I would have been there in front of the president, I would have asked him what his sign was,” Rivera joked. “He’s going to give the interview to the Dog Food Channel before he gives it to me. I’ve asked every single day and I get the same answer, you know, which is no answer at all. So I understand the frustration of the White House press corps.”
“Put yourself in the seat of a White House correspondent who finds that the president is unavailable, not talking,” Williams told Rivera. “You can say that President Bush back in ’04 similarly did not have press conferences, but is this the right thing to do for the leader of the free world, to not be taking questions from people who are following the news of the world?”
“Clinton didn’t give press conferences either after the first couple of years when he was trying to get his health care passed along withHillary,” Rivera said, “so I think they get into a rut where they don’t want to go before the White House press corps.”
Rivera then took shots at the WH reporters as “whiney” and feeling “entitled,” and defended Obama’s seeming lack of press conferences by saying that it’s often a risk to be too open during election season because “beat reporters tend to look for the ‘gotcha’ moments where they can trip him up.”
“I would like to see him be more open,” Rivera concluded, “but he is following in the tradition of ducking the press, of the bipartisan tradition of ‘Why risk all that?'”
Watch below, via Fox News:
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