President Barack Obama was interrupted during his big immigration reform announcement by a Neil Munro, a reporter with the conservative outlet The Daily Caller who shouted at the president “Why do you favor foreigners over American workers?”
Mr. Obama quickly grew annoyed by the exchange
“Excuse me, sir,” he said when the reporter first spoke up, raising a finger to quiet the reporter down.
When he didn’t, Mr. Obama responded “It’s not time for questions, sir. Not while I’m speaking.”
As he was finishing up, Mr. Obama turned back to the reporter and said, “And the answer to your question, sir, 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.”
When Mr. Munro interrupted again, the president “I didn’t ask for an argument, I’m answering your question.”
The incident quickly created an uproar, with Diane Sawyer calling the reporter a “heckler” and a broad spectrum of journalists and former White House aides denouncing the breach of decorum.
But The Daily Caller defended Mr. Munro.
“I don’t remember Diane Sawyer scolding her colleague Sam Donaldson for heckling President Reagan,” said Tucker Carlson, editor-in-chief of the site. “And she shouldn’t have. A reporter’s job is to ask questions and get answers. Our job is to find out what the federal government is up to. Politicians often don’t want to tell us. A good reporter gets the story. We’re proud of Neil Munro.”
Added publisher Neil Patel, “The President today announced a very controversial policy and does not want to answer tough questions about it. Neil Munro is a veteran Washington reporter who today tried his best to time his question to be first as the President was wrapping up his remarks. He in no way meant to heckle the President of the United States.”
And Mr. Munro said that he was not trying to interrupt the president.
“I always go to the White House prepared with questions for our president. I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States. I know he rarely takes questions before walking away from the podium. When I asked the question as he finished his speech, he turned his back on the many reporters, and walked away while I and at least one other reporter asked questions.”