Yes, we understand that freedom of the press is an American right embedded in the Constitution. But at the same time, there is freedom of the press, and just plain being rude. Today at the White House, The Daily Caller's Neil Munro was rude. As President Obama talked about his administration's shift in immigration policy to allow for some undocumented youth between 16 and 30 to avoid deportation, Munro, whose name is probably now known by more people tonight than this afternoon thanks to social media, has gone out of his way to tell his side of the story and tell it quickly.
We are doing a story about President Obama's speech on immigration today and there are reports that you were the reporter who interrupted the President during the speech. Can you confirm? Do you have any comments about this incident that you plan to share on record? Thank you.
At 6:15 tonight, Munro emailed us back and wrote:
I did not heckle. I asked questions. I did not wish to interrupt him or to be rude, but I did want to get questions answered. See thedc.com/MP6Qiv – Neil
Granted, we don't know how Munro thought that we said that he had heckled the President. But that is not the point. It is clear to us that Munro is trying to defend his stance as a reporter, but in this case, Munro really is facing a blurry line between being a White House correspondent and being an individual who thinks Obama's words is just a new amnesty plan for "those damn illegals." Now Munro is part of the story, and if you ask any reporter, that is something most reporters wouldn't want.
The fact is that even though Munro claimed that the President didn't answer the question about how foreign workers are taking away Americans' jobs, one of the neo-nativist claims that continues to be beaten like a dead horse, the President did indeed answer it, as the video shows. Granted, we think President Obama has had some major issues when it comes to immigration policy (broken promises, record deportations), and even though today's announcement was historic, the online buzz among voters is a sincere "let's wait and see" attitude. But at the same time, the President answer Munro's questions and rather forcefully too, within the context of what he was talking about today: immigration.
So, even though Obama gave Munro a 1-minute answer, Munro was still heard at the end of the tape, asking the same question. If this question is so important to him, then he can continue to ask it at White House press briefings, or even request for an answer from the President—an answer that he likes?
In the end, Munro comes across as one of those self-proclaimed immigration reporters who look at announcements like today and fear change. Want proof? Just read the first paragraph from his afternoon column today:
President Barack Obama declined to take any questions from reporters about his controversial and significant decision to offer a de facto amnesty to at least 800,000 foreigners aged 15 to 30.
These "foreigners" that Munro is describing are kids who came into this country because their parents brought them here. The kids had no choice, and in fact, they grew up as American kids. That is the quandary of this group of DREAMers. They go to school, serve in the US armed forces, try to advantage of the American Dream, the same one they were told about when they were young children. Yet in this country, they are just second-class people and if they were deported to their countries of origins, they would truly be "foreigners" there. That is the reality, and Munro can chalk one up to the neo-nativists. And we venture to guess that Munro is not a big fan of TIME, but maybe he should read it this week to actually learn a thing or two about the DREAMers.