Opinion Brief

Obama's 'churlish' local TV interview

A Texas reporter's combative style rankles the usually unflappable president

The video: When President Obama's press team invited four local TV reporters to interview the commander in chief at the White House this week, they probably didn't expect many hardball questions. But Brad Watson, of WFAA-TV in Dallas, used his allotted seven minutes to grill the president in an unusually direct manner. (See the video below.) During the interview, which centered around Obama's plan to reduce the deficit, Watson noted that the president's proposal would be a tough sell in Texas, and asked Obama why he is so unpopular there. When Obama conceded that he lost the state by "a few percentage point," in 2008, Watson quickly responded, "Well, you lost by about 10." After a few more testy exchanges, during which Obama grew visibly irritated, the interview ended, and Obama told Watson: "Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?"
The reaction:
This interview wasn't really about the issues, says Colby Hall at Mediaite — it was about Brad Watson. The reporter "appeared far more interested in airing his questions to the president (or even getting under his skin) than getting a topical response." The fact that Watson, not Obama, is the star of the finished news clip is further evidence of his personal desire to be newsworthy. No way, says Melissa Clouthier at RedState. It was Obama who looked "churlish and defensive," because "for the past two years," he hasn't been asked a single tough question by the national media. Watch the tense interview for yourself:

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