We are saddened to report that the Harper Prime Minister’s Office, apparently with too much time on its hands, has taken to preparing lists of acceptable questioners for Barack Obama. There is no other plausible answer for the president’s strange behaviour:
Breaking with tradition and using a prepared list, Obama did not recognize journalists with The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal or USA Today — the last four of which were not picked at last month’s news conference, either. Instead, he called on reporters for Ebony magazine, Stars and Stripes, Univision, and Agence France-Presse..
Obama made clear during the transition that he did not plan to follow the usual journalistic pecking order. As president, he has broken with precedent by having his press office notify correspondents that they will be called on at upcoming news conferences. The more unorthodox approach was highlighted at his first evening session, when he took a question from a correspondent for the Huffington Post, a liberal Web magazine.