Shameful shouting

Reporter's outburst at Obama announcement was flat-out wrong

Webb Simpson’s moment in the sun after his U.S. Open victory Sunday was interrupted by a bizarre man in a goofy hat stepping in front of the camera and cawing like a bird.

Conservatives don’t look much better when they rudely interrupt President Obama during a White House speech.

That’s exactly what a “reporter” for the conservative Daily Caller website did Friday, shouting questions to Mr. Obama from the press pool while the president was delivering his announcement that he’ll cease deportations of young illegals who were brought here as children.

We’ve purposely waited to comment on this unfortunate episode, to see what other conservative outlets and commentators would say. And we’re not buying what they’re selling.

The main defense of the culprit, Neil Munro, is that Sam Donaldson used to “heckle” President Reagan. Or that reporters once shouted questions to him while he was trying to turn the microphone over to another administration official.

Nonsense. Certainly Donaldson is famous for shouting at President Reagan – but usually when the Gipper was jumping in or out of a noisy helicopter. In the example of the press conference shouting, Reagan had clearly concluded his remarks.

Mr. Obama had not. Munro’s claim that he thought the president had finished speaking is as goofy as the Birdman.

“Reporters can/do/should shout questions AFTER a statement or presser — that’s cool. Interrupting is anarchy & rude,” one Republican strategist wrote on Twitter.

He’s right.

Conservatives should know better. They’ve been the most frequent victims of hecklers and others trying to silence their speech. And they claim to be in favor of civility.

Shouting questions in the middle of a staid and pretty formal presidential announcement at the White House is a line that should not have been crossed.

Shame on the man who did it, and those who blindly defend him.

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