In an important gesture that recognized the growing legitimacy of blogs and online media, President Obama last night called on Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein to ask a question at the White House press conference. (We consider it the first time a legitimate new media reporter has been formally called on by the President.) Stein asked whether Obama would endorse Sen. Patrick Leahy’s proposal to establish “a truth and reconciliation committee” to investigate the misdeeds of the Bush administration. Obama declined to specifically endorse Leahy’s idea, but offered this perspective:
My view is also that nobody’s above the law and, if there are clear instances of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted just like any ordinary citizen. […]
So I will take a look at Senator Leahy’s proposal, but my general orientation is to say let’s get it right moving forward.
Liberal blogger Joe Sudbay of AmericaBlog was credentialed to attend the press conference last night. And prominent liberal radio host Ed Schultz was rewarded with a front-row seat. Politico’s Michael Calderone reports which outlets got to ask a question (Politico was not one of them). Correspondents for The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Time, and Newsweek also were not on the White House’s pre-selected list of reporters to be called on.