Four minutes after the scheduled start time for yesterday's White House briefing, only 14 of the 49 seats were occupied--and the 14 included flamboyant radio host Lester Kinsolving, who sat in the Bloomberg News seat; Raghubir Goyal of an obscure Indian American publication, who occupied the New York Times chair; and a foreign journalist in the back row, perusing the White House's Cinco de Mayo dinner menu. ...
Reporters busied themselves with personal tasks: rubbing eyes, cleaning eyeglasses, reading the newspaper, fiddling with BlackBerrys or studying the blank pages of their notebooks. One of the deputy press secretaries, Gordon Johndroe, rested his chin in his hand. There was nothing left to be said--which was the cue for Kinsolving, who demanded to know Bush's view on the disparity in pro-football eligibility for players from the military academies.
Kathryn Jean Lopez leaps eagerly to the White House's defense, citing such critical administration priorities as the free-trade agreement with Colombia, FISA telecom immunity, faith-based approaches to inner-city schools, and, to quote Lopez, "looking beyond complaining about a recession we're not in." Of course--how could Milbank be so daft as to ignore the White House's big "keep your chin up about the economy" initiative!
I'm a bit surprised by Lopez's defensive tone--I would think conservatives would celebrate the administration's idleness. Isn't that the point? In fact, after seven years of Bush doing things, I'm not so sure the country isn't better off if the president just spends his time planning Jenna's wedding and greeting adorable puppies.