During Wednesday’s White House press conference where President Obama addressed Tuesday’s historic nuclear deal with Iran, CBS reporter Major Garrett made some waves of his own by getting scolded by Obama after asking him an extremely loaded question that was more more commentary than query. After the presser was over, Garrett appeared on CBS News’ online network and brushed off the dressing down he received from the President, stating that sometimes as a reporter you have to get smacked a bit to get an answer. He then admitted that he purposely asked the question in a provocative way to get a reaction from Obama.
The former Fox News correspondent asked the President the following Breitbartesque op-ed framed as a question Wednesday afternoon:
“As you well know, there are four Americans in Iran, three held on trumped-up charges according to your administration and one, whereabouts unknown. Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content with all the fanfare around this deal to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?”
“I’ve got to give you credit Major for how you craft those questions The notion that I’m content as I celebrate with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails. Major, that’s nonsense, and you should know better.”
That was followed by some additional browbeating, which can be seen in the video below.
Afterwards, Garrett stood by his performance, claiming that it was his job as a reporter to push politicians. (Correct.) He also said that the President created a straw man (I didn’t get that from Obama’s response, Major) and that he intentionally meant to be provocative with his question. (Is that a reporter’s job now? I guess so.)
Below is video of the conversation that CBS posted to its Twitter account.
— CBSN (@CBSNLive) July 15, 2015
I will never disagree with the notion that a journalist should push an elected official or person of power. Journalists should always strive for the truth and ask uncomfortable and prying questions. They shouldn’t be afraid of offending or appearing to disrespect anyone, even someone as high-ranking as the President of the United States. At the same time, they should never make themselves be THE STORY. And that is exactly what Garrett did. He made it about himself. He got himself additional airtime and made sure his name became known by acting like an obtuse douche.
Bravo, Major. Bravo.