|New political etiquette?|
|Written by Daily Vidette Editorial Board|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2012 16:04|
Last Friday during a speech in the Rose Garden, President Barack Obama discussed his decision on immigration and was interrupted and heckled by The Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro. Since then, many media outlets have discussed whether his actions were justified or just downright rude.
Obama spoke about a new immigration policy that would protect young immigrants from deportation. On the grounds that they are between the ages of 16 and 30, have clean criminal records, and are currently enrolled in school, they will be allowed to stay. Unemployment for low-skilled workers is at a record high, particularly with Hispanics and African-Americans, which made his announcement controversial.
Munro is an Irish-American immigrant who has been at The Daily Caller for a few years and covers immigration, politics, and the economy. In the middle of Obama’s speech, he shouted, "Why’d you favor foreigners over Americans?" to which Obama replied by saying it was not time for questions yet. Munro’s excuse was that he thought the president was wrapping up, but accounts from other reporters say that no one thought he was finished at that point and that Munro was lying. At the end of the speech, Munro shouted more questions as Obama left the podium. He is appalled that the focus of the speech was on him and not the president, but because of his behavior, it is hard to ignore him.
The most obvious fault of Munro is his extreme lack of respect and ability to quietly listen in the presence of the president of the United States. While his cop-out may be that he thought he had finished speaking, that is likely not to be true. We value our freedom of speech and the right to protest our government. In many countries, he would have been imprisoned for speaking out. However, there is a time and place for everything. Whether he really just wanted to be heard or maybe just get more readers to The Daily Caller, he behaved in a way a journalist is never supposed to.
Hypocrisy is something else that comes to mind. As an immigrant from Ireland with a green card, he should be grateful that the opportunity that he has been given is extended to people who also need it. Young people looking for a new life can find it in America, and Obama’s decision could potentially make the risk of being deported a non-issue. However, he asked the president why he cares so much about foreigners, which he is himself. There could be many reasons behind his thought process, including traits like racism or elitism. But having the job of a journalist is about getting the facts, and Munro’s actions are confusing and questionable.
After this incident, Munro published his account of the speech on The Daily Caller’s website with a headline of "Obama ignores questions about controversial de facto decision." This is false as the president did acknowledge him and tell him that it was not time for questions. Although he did step away from the podium without taking questions, not every press conference is the same. Although there were reporters present, it does not mean there would be a chance for questions or even time for it.
Regardless of your stance on immigration, Munro’s actions are still appalling. The Daily Caller has had its reputation called into question, and Munro is now seen as rude and pushy according to online commenters. All of this activity has retracted from the real issue, and that was Obama’s speech. Does everything have to be a media circus with scandal? Many would say no. That does not mean we as Americans should remain silent.