John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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60 Minutes Again

Posted on December 13, 2009

60 Minutes, Again




When Andy Rooney retires (which is probably any day now), the producers of 60 Minutes should enquire if Barack Obama would like to take his place in the rotation.

For the fourth time since he was elected President, Mr. Obama was interviewed tonight on the long-running news magazine.

I would be interested in seeing how the President has changed since those first, heady days in the White House and that first, treacley interview with Steve Croft.  Obama counts on the easy questions from Croft, and he usually gets them.

The President let us know tonight that his job his hard.  Yep, we knew that (the previous occupant let us in on that secret).  He let us know that his Spock-like West Point speech was the most emotional speech he has ever given.  He let us know that he would rather talk about Afghanistan than jobs (cold comfort to job seekers).  He let us know that health care was going to be deficit neutral (really?  Do you really believe that?)

And he let us know that he was really, really angry about the party crashers, and that he let blamed everyone responsible.

By the way, that little nugget will be the headline tomorrow.  The party crasher story seems to be only thing that most of the media not covering Tiger Woods cares about.

It would have been nice if Mr. Croft had asked about the Congressional vote to increase the debt by close to two trillion dollars.   It would have been nice if he had asked the President why most Americans didn’t think he deserved the Nobel prize.  It would been nice if the President was asked about his promises he will make in Copenhagen that the American people have no interest in keeping.  A question about the President’s declining popularity ratings would have been appropriate.  Same with a question about the Congress’s unpopularity and how that impacts the President.

He might have asked about his Administration’s close ties to the financial services companies that he railed against.  Tim Geithner’s role in the bailout and Larry Summers role in creating the regulatory regime that helped cause the financial collapse, both of those might have been good targets for investigation.   But Croft just allowed the President to pontificate against those evil bankers, not mentioning how much cash his campaign collected from them.

I understand now why the President spends so much time appearing on 60 Minutes.  The days of taking the tough questions from Mike Wallace are long gone.  In its place are the easy, fawning questions that come from Steve Croft.

CBS should think about just giving Mr. Obama a regular spot on the show.  Probably be good for their ratings.