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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Heckling the President of the United States

    A few hours ago, a Daily Caller reporter heckled President Obama during a speech:

    President Barack Obama introduced his administration's new policy granting qualified legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children in a Rose Garden statement interrupted by the heckling of a conservative reporter.

    As the president, standing at a podium outside the White House, explained why he was implementing the policy, Daily Caller writer Neil Munro began to shout questions, asking why Obama would want foreigners in the country instead of giving jobs to Americans.

    “It is not the time for questions. Not while I'm speaking,” the president, visibly irritated, said just five minutes into his speech.

    ...

    A few minutes later, the heckler started up again, allowing Obama to even more forcefully make his point as he countered the shouting.

    “And the answer to your question, sir,” he began, pointing his finger from the podium directly at Munro, “-- and the next time I'd prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question -- is this is the right thing to do for the American people.”

    “If there's a young person here who has grown up here and wants to contribute to this society, wants to maybe start a business that will create jobs for other folks who are looking for work, that's the right thing to do,” he continued, at that point seeming to speak with the dual purpose of heralding the new policy and drowning the heckler out.
    The whole situation reminded me of when Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" during Pres. Obama's 2009 health care speech.

    I was reading some comments that no Republican president had been subjected to such behavior. I thought about it myself, but could not think of any similar incident. Even Pres. Clinton, who was impeached, never had a Republican congressman interrupt his speech before Congress.

    Is this just a sign of the times? Is the office of the President of the U.S. respected less? Or is this specific to Pres. Obama?

    P.S. Tucker Carlson defends his reporter, saying "He was doing what reporters are supposed to do -- get their questions answered".

  2. #2
    ... Tyrinth's Avatar
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    A sign of the times? *Shrug* Maybe. I personally hate a lot of Obama's policy decisions, but were I the reporter, I would wait till the end of the speech to ask that question. It's simply a matter of respect. I may disagree with what he's doing to this country, but he is the president...

    I really don't think it has anything to do with political party.

    Obama seems to be a pretty polarizing president, I haven't met too many people who are indifferent to him. People seem to either love him or hate him, and that may have something to do with it. I really don't know.
    ...

  3. #3
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    In 2004, Democrats delivered a “Chorus Of Boos” during Bush’s State Of The Union when he called for renewal of the Patriot Act., according to the Washington Times.

    In 2005, Dems howled, hissed and shouted "No!" when Bush pushed for Social Security reform in the SOU: "Foreshadowing the contentiousness of the coming debate, Democrats broke decorum and booed twice," according to the National Journal.

    At the time, CNN's Bill Schneider remarked, “It was unusual. I had never heard it at least at that level before. The Democrats clearly were booing, heckling, saying no when the president talked about the crisis in Social Security."
    Now, I'm no Bushie, but
    Dems booing Bush during SOTU = A-ok but reporter heckling Obama during press conference = unconscionable/stop the presses!?
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    Quote Originally Posted by INA View Post
    Now, I'm no Bushie, but
    Dems booing Bush during SOTU = A-ok but reporter heckling Obama during press conference = unconscionable/stop the presses!?
    I do not remember that, thanks!

  5. #5
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    A few hours ago, a Daily Caller reporter heckled President Obama during a speech:

    The whole situation reminded me of when Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" during Pres. Obama's 2009 health care speech.

    I was reading some comments that no Republican president had been subjected to such behavior. I thought about it myself, but could not think of any similar incident. Even Pres. Clinton, who was impeached, never had a Republican congressman interrupt his speech before Congress.

    Is this just a sign of the times? Is the office of the President of the U.S. respected less? Or is this specific to Pres. Obama?
    The times and the President. I do think it started with Bush.

    The heckling, however, has gone far. From the speech Jamie Dimon had with the Senators (yeah, the ones that got paid by his corporation) to just about anyone if you read the news and the times enough. It is just, seeing it happen to the POTUS garners more attention.

    In some instances, it is rude. In other instances, it is to get the point across.
    Last edited by Rail Tracer; 06-15-2012 at 05:35 PM. Reason: Cleaned the post for relevance.

  6. #6
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    hmm, did not even hear what the heckler was screaming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrinth View Post
    A sign of the times? *Shrug* Maybe. I personally hate a lot of Obama's policy decisions, but were I the reporter, I would wait till the end of the speech to ask that question. It's simply a matter of respect. I may disagree with what he's doing to this country, but he is the president...

    I really don't think it has anything to do with political party.

    Obama seems to be a pretty polarizing president, I haven't met too many people who are indifferent to him. People seem to either love him or hate him, and that may have something to do with it. I really don't know.
    Obama is not extreme or polarizing as an individual; his polarizing effect is a direct result of the new world media and their effect on the public.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  8. #8

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    Wether its the left or the right to often rage is standing in for reasoning these days.

    Personally I've always thought that losing your self-control and being overwhelmed emotionally being taken for a ride by your emotional impulses is a waste of time and something to be ashamed of. Although a lot people I meet nowadays take that for being apathetic or not caring or not active or not political even.

  9. #9
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    American political heckling is so tame compared to most countries, so I wouldn't fret too much. You should see NZ parliament when a MP makes a speech to the house (or UK or Australian parliament for that matter). Although I must say, I certainly don't think it's at all appropriate for a reporter to interrupt a speech - they're there to listen and get answers, not to stir up trouble.

    I remember reading an article about American politics back in the 19th and early 20th centuries where heckling was commonplace; in fact it was considered that the ability to deal with hecklers that was a mark of a quality politician. The writer almost lamented the lack of it in contemporary times, saying it's all too polite now and politicians aren't being challenged enough.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    American political heckling is so tame compared to most countries, so I wouldn't fret too much. You should see NZ parliament when a MP makes a speech to the house (or UK or Australian parliament for that matter). Although I must say, I certainly don't think it's at all appropriate for a reporter to interrupt a speech - they're there to listen and get answers, not to stir up trouble.

    I remember reading an article about American politics back in the 19th and early 20th centuries where heckling was commonplace; in fact it was considered that the ability to deal with hecklers that was a mark of a quality politician. The writer almost lamented the lack of it in contemporary times, saying it's all too polite now and politicians aren't being challenged enough.
    I wouldn't mind a Question Time, even with heckling, since that is a clearly defined situation for it. During speeches? No, there's no point to it. Dealing with a heckler doesn't convey much, as the heckling usually is devoid of much content.

    There are times when it is fun to see a comic destroy a heckler, but usually heckler just annoy and disrupt the performance. Same with speeches.

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