We can’t say for sure whether Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro was racist for heckling President Barack Obama during his press conference on immigration last week.
But he was, indeed, disrespectful.
And Tucker Carlson, the publisher of the Daily Caller, did Munro no favors when arguing, “He was doing what reporters are supposed to do — get their questions answered.”
Actually, you’re supposed to wait for the question and answer portion of the day before seeking answers. But I guess that fun fact is neither here nor there for the conservative commentator. Worse is Rush Limbaugh, who has already earned a well-received reputation for mouthing off idiocies, outdid himself yesterday.
Watch Tucker’s interruption of Obama here:
“You see, it’s race, folks. It never happened to a White president,” he said. “This kind of behavior, it wouldn’t happen to a White guy. How cheap. How clichéd. How simplistic. How predictable. How utterly ignorant of these supposed great minds to suggest that any of this has anything to do with Obama’s skin color, ‘cause I’m going tell you, it doesn’t.”
How transparent. How condescending. How irritating. How poorly articulated.
He added, “Besides, everybody knows that Munro was heckling Obama’s white half, folks. Everybody knows that.”
How utterly stupid.
Fine. Let’s not quickly dismiss it as racism. However, it’s not exactly a great leap to immediately assume race may have played a role in Munro’s treatment of the President Obama who has been routinely dissed on the grounds of race from conservatives and liberals alike. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how some might perceive Munro’s actions along racial lines.
Nevertheless, while I won’t brand him a “racist,” I will continue referring to him as a disrespectful jerk, especially considering how unapologetic he is about his behavior. Last night on “Hannity,” Munro said he merely “mistimed” his question. This, of course, after Sean Hannity – yeah, that fair minded guy – portrayed Munro as the victim in this situation.
“The only way to ask the questions was get him at the end as he’s leaving just before he dashes back to the Oval Office, and, yes, I mistimed it. I thought I was getting him at the end. Frankly, I was wrong about that.”
Obama was in the middle of his announcement and didn’t give the slightest indication to being done. Hannity’s conversation soon shifted to how “easy” the press has been on the President, to which Munro noted:
“Yes, clearly, and for a variety of reasons that are hard to correct. But we at The Daily Caller will not try to be easy on him and try not to be easy on the next president. It’s our job to work for the American people through our publication to provide them the information that the politicians are reluctant to hand out. We’ve got to do our job.”
Funny to see how someone who fancies himself as a stickler for getting the job done doesn’t realize how his actions got in the way of President Obama doing his.
Regardless of how polarized our politics have become, there is something to be said about respecting the office of the Presidency. Whatever was going on in Munro’s mind when he babbled off a bunch of nothing while Obama was speaking – be it racism, general denseness, what have you – it shouldn’t have happened. The fact that he can’t see that is troubling because it means he’s liable to “mistime” himself again in the future.
What do you think?
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick