Presidential news conferences are not the same as a one-on-one drill of a VIP in the privacy of his or her own office. The event flies around the world in seconds and reporters are quite aware that they can be an instantaneous VIP, too, with a hot-wire encounter, for better or worse, with the speaker at the lectern. Television has created much of the posturing that might occur when one reporter is acknowledged and another ignored. (Immediately after Obama's conference, it was reported that he had snubbed the major print media. How do you like that?)
But given the fact that Obama has been in office no more than a couple of months, the Washington media seemed more aggressive than it chose to be with George Bush and the weeks and months (and even years) that followed 9/11. The mighty Washington Post gave precedence to pro-invasion stories over those that suggested we were headed into a quagmire. War critic Phil Donahue's TV show was canceled by his network, which decided his voice was inappropriate for the times. In short, the Beltway media, including assistance from liberals, failed to serve their calling, and the presidential news conferences - the few that occurred - and the talking heads that supinely gave Bush the benefit of the doubt, aptly demonstrated that.
So now we'll watch to see how the Obama years are played out vis-a-vis the media herd. But, please, no more questions about why he hasn't called upon Americans to make sacrifices - certainly not from a well-paid TV newsman who currently has a job.