Congrats Sam Stein & Huffington Post: A Historic Moment in the Obama White House

by: AdamGreen

Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 23:15

The clouds didn't open. A choir didn't start singing. A ray of sunlight didn't come shining down.

But I'm pretty sure I said, "HALLELUJAH!" when Barack Obama uttered those four divine words tonight, "Sam Stein. Huffington Post."

David Sirota aptly called this a movement moment. It was also, to be clear, a historic moment--and a legitimizing moment--for an online progressive community that's been years in the making and tonight had its first chance to ask a President of the United States a question at a news conference.

Sam's question was co-equal in status to the traditional talking heads. But unlike so many other questions, his question represented a concern on the minds of millions of Americans that the DC chattering class largely resists talking about: Should Bush Administration officials be held accountable for violating the American rule of law? Sam--a consistently great reporter and an avid biker--asked his question with composure and professionalism:


AdamGreen :: Congrats Sam Stein & Huffington Post: A Historic Moment in the Obama White House

Barack Obama and his media team deserve praise. It was obvious that Barack Obama had a pre-determined list of people to call on, meaning a conscious decision was made to make this a historic night.

Hopefully this trend continues by giving access to progressive blogs like DailyKos and OpenLeft, progressive talk shows like The Young Turks, and other progressive media outlets like the American Prospect, The Nation, and Mother Jones (a consortium of which are meeting in DC this very week -- hint, hint).

And hopefully we all send our congrats to Sam Stein and the Huffington Post for truly being part of history tonight. Can I get an Amen!

(Recommend on Kos.)

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Yeah (0.00 / 0)
Actually, I thought he called on Sam Simon.  I was pretty happy that he was including someone involved in the Simpons in the press conference.

So true (4.00 / 4)
And quite a bit better as a movement moment than Jeff Gannon.

Join us at the Missouri community blog Show Me Progress!

Congrats to Sam and HuffPo tonight (4.00 / 6)
He did us all proud!

On Obama's response, I respectfully disagree with the President on the notion that we must look forward and not back.  We tried that after Bush stole the Florida election, and people are still bitter 8 years later.  A truth & reconciliation process will allow truth to come out about what happened in this country under the Bush/Cheney administration and provide clear lessons so that we don't make the same mistakes again (or at least not soon).  Anything less is merely sweeping history under the rug and leaves us more likely to allow the same mistakes happen again.

Cenk Uygur... (4.00 / 9)
of the Young Turks (potentially the next MSNBC 10pm host) has a really interesting theory.

He says that Ford's decision to pardon Nixon -- so the country could move forward -- is directly responsible for Cheney breaking the law with reckless abandon. Cheney was Ford's Chief of Staff, and Cenk says Cheney may have learned the lesson that those in power will never be held accountable. Also reinforced during Iran-Contra.

So, the idea that accountability = good governance in the future is a very real one. Sam's question could end up being historic in more ways than one.

[ Parent ]
Indeed (4.00 / 3)
We only punish the underclass, unless we really, really, REALLY have to.

Ergo, Clinton, as trailer trash, had to be punished.  It just took a while to figure out for what.

Republicans?  Not so much.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
dsf (0.00 / 0)
I disagree big time. If I were Obama, I would definitely not want my Presidency defined by Bush and Cheney, and that's exactly how it would turn out if he would pursue their crimes. If I were him, I'd set up a commission in my second term that would release findings during the next President's administration. Because, if I campaigned two years, I would want to leave my imprint, not Bush's.

[ Parent ]
Which is why I think Obama (4.00 / 1)
should not be apart of the process of getting accountability.  Progressives need to persue it.

My blog  

[ Parent ]
Yah, I thougth that was a great moment (0.00 / 0)
give both of them the cred for that.

Check out the New York Times Blog... (4.00 / 2)

They made a big deal about him being called out. He said he was the first website publication to be called out by a president. Actually, Huffington Post was not the first be recognized by a president. DId they forget the gay prostitute Jeff Ganon from Talon News? Here's the video:

At least get the facts right. They are the New York Times for crying out loud.

huffington's pro-obama coverage pays off! (0.00 / 0)
if open left turned all of its coverage into an obama campaign, he would mention you guys too!

And Fox News' pro-Obama coverage too? (4.00 / 1)
He called on Fox News, too. Must be all their pro-Obama coverage.

Karl in Drexel Hill, PA

[ Parent ]
Glad to see... (4.00 / 3)

... Obama call on Sam Stein of Huffington Post. Even though Arianna pays all of her reporters peanuts to live on I'm sure.

Obama said "Nobody's above the law" but IMO he made it clear he's got no interest in going after Bushies. That's where activists come in.  

Big Eddie (0.00 / 0)
It occurred to me that seating Ed Schultz next to Helen Thomas might have indicated that he'd be asked a question, too. I'm sure Ed's impressions will be shared with his radio listeners, and maybe on his website. In fact, I think Chuck Todd was put back a row, as Todd usually sits in the front row during Robert Gibbs' Q&As.

I was thrilled for Sam and HuffPo, to have him called on.

on Obama's actual answer -- "a bizarre middle ground" (0.00 / 0)

...this is all partially the consequence of Obama's failure to make a clear decision on torture prosecutions, whether by pardoning those who tortured and the government officials who enabled them, or by prosecuting those responsible. Instead, he's chosen a bizarre middle ground where illegal activity is acknowledged but those responsible are shielded from civil and criminal law by the administration itself. In the meantime, he makes vague pronouncements about nobody being above the law while keeping certain people above the law. ...


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