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August 4, 2004
Kerry Promises More News Conferences If President

John Kerry took steps yesterday to shore up weakening support in akey constituency -- the media -- by promising more news conferences if elected to the White House:

Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said Tuesday he would hold news conferences at least once a month if elected in November.

"I don't have anything to hide," he declared. ...

President Bush, the man Kerry hopes to unseat in November, has held 12 formal news conferences since taking office, though he routinely has short question-and-answer sessions at White House photo opportunities.

Of course, it's easy for Kerry to hold press conferences, given the broad range of responses he routinely gives on any issue. One could ask the Senator why he hasn't held many press conferences during his campaign, given this new commitment. After all, the media up to the convention had been his best friend, even if he kept shooting himself in the foot when given the opportunity.

However, after the post-convention disaster of the Milli Vanilli Chili and the Nixonian "secret plan" to end the war in Iraq -- which, by the way, was over last year -- the press finally turned on Kerry, especially the AP's Ron Fournier. Instead of simply explaining himself or moving on to new substantive topics, Kerry invented a new issue: news conferences. (Can we expect to see a Press Misery Index, complete with charts, demonstrating the high level of journalistic unhappiness compared with the Clinton Administration?)

People may be unhappy with the communication effort made by the Bush Administration, but that dissatisfaction has little to do with press conferences. Outside of J-school, most people now see these media events as nothing more than an artful dance, where media darlings get to preen in front of cameras and ask a series of non-sequiturs to a person or people determined not to answer much. It's theater, and it's absurd, and if there is one thing of which we need less, it's pointless performance art by talking heads playing "gotcha" games. "Did you ever make a mistake, Mr. President?" Stupid word games by foolish and pointless people do not create any useful information for the public at large.

In fact, press conferences have become journalism's United Nations: a place where the world gathers to see nothing accomplished but the venting of rhetoric, while the real work gets done in bilateral or smaller multilateral venues.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 4, 2004 10:38 AM

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» A sign of command? from Right Reading Room
Kerry thinks a good commander in chief should have more news conferences. But the Captain takes him to task. Yea, well he'd probably need more news conferences so the rest of the country can keep up with his flip-flops! ;-)... [Read More]

Tracked on August 4, 2004 12:03 PM

» And you thought Clinton pandered from The Key Monk
John Kerry is now pandering to the press! How? Promising more press conferences because he has "nothing to hide." What a steaming pile THAT is! If Kerry had nothing to hide, he would have discussed his glorious Senatorial record for more than 2... [Read More]

Tracked on August 4, 2004 12:40 PM

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