I know the title may sound a bit harsh, but Ed Henry deserves it and then some. Now this might just be me, but when you have the ability to question the President, I would hope most journalists would want to try to address the salient issues of the day in a way that connects the President to the American people.
Unfortunately, Henry thought he was being witty by connecting Obama to George Bush when he wondered out loud why the President didn't call on the American people to make a sacrifice in these troubled times. Obama responded beautifully, even if it may have thrown Henry back on his heels. What Henry didn't/doesn't get is that the American people ARE suffering, even if Henry and his friends in the elite bubble of Washington, D.C. are still living quite comfortably. Instead of trying to make an effort at understanding his disconnect to the rest of the nation, Henry went on a rationalization binge for his network instead:
... I was heading into this event with the same strategy: make news on something unexpected.[...]
But on Tuesday night, as I sat in the front row nervously reviewing my hypothetical questions ... I kept thinking back to a conversation I had with Wolf Blitzer [...]
The pressure was on now because the president had called on me. Someone handed me a microphone, millions were watching, and it's scary to think about changing topic in a split second because you might get flustered and screw up.
But it's fun to gamble and like any good quarterback (though I was never athletic enough to actually play the position), I decided to call an audible. [...]
So I waited patiently and then decided to pounce with a sharp follow-up. From just a few feet away, I could see in his body language that the normally calm and cool president was perturbed.[...]
Advice from Wolf Blitzer? The pressure is on? Doing your job??? None of that makes any sense whatsoever, unless of course you are a mindless drone masquerading as a reporter within the confines of the capitol. Blitzer for the most part is a phony, there's always pressure involved when being on TV, especially with the President (should have been prepared) and as for doing your job, asking the President to tell people to sacrifice when they are already starting to live in tent cities as hundreds of thousands lose their jobs every week is one of the most callous things to say. Obama didn't deliberately move us into a recession as Bush had lied us into a war with Iraq. Any good reporter should know that the two situations are completely different from each other. Ed Henry should have known this, and if he did, and went on to waste the President's and our time, then yes, he is a pathetic twit.
What do I think? I've got no hard feelings toward the president and I assume he feels the same, but I can't worry about that. I was doing my job -- and he was doing his.