A suggestion for the WashPost

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

You might want to focus a bit more on what questioners asked Obama at the recent White House town hall forum, and a bit less on who asked the questions. As in, you might want to focus on the substance, and a bit less on the style.

Online, the Post published a report about how five of the people at this week's forum, who were randomly selected to ask Obama policy queries, were "campaign backers." The Post couched this in the by-now clichéd we-thought-Obama-was-for-change-but-it-doesn't-look-like-he-is angle, which remains beloved inside the Beltway.

For the piece, the Post pretty much did background checks on the five citizens who asked questions and determined...they all like Obama! Thank you, and noted. But the Post never suggested that the White House misled the public about who was allowed in the room for the forum. And the Post didn't claim the questions were somehow pre-screened, or that the people were planted by Obama's staff.

And frankly, the Post research struck us as a bit creepy. i.e. One questioner "donated $2,750 to Virginia Democratic candidates for office, according to the Center for Responsive Politics." Another questioner, the Post detailed, once wrote a pro-Obama note to her union newsletter. (We're not making this up.)

I'm just wondering what the point of the exercise was. But even more telling was the fact that the Post never even bothered to detail what questions the people asked. The substance of their participation was of zero interest.

Not that the Post cared, but the questioners asked about health care, the auto industry, the fate of small businesses and public education.

We know--boring.

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