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July 22, 2009

Oops. President calls on someone else, and I jump up

Ok, so that was embarrassing.

During President Obama's prime time news conference, I happily stood up and asked him some questions about health care when he called on me. The only problem was, he didn't call on me.

Fact is, he called on Steve Koff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I have to confess that I'm hard of hearing, and I thought I heard my name. As I turned to grab the microphone from the young aide kneeling just beside me in the White House East Room, I never heard the part about the Plain Dealer.

I suspected something was amiss when Obama made a reference to visiting my home town tomorrow. He's going to Cleveland. I'm from Chicago. Hell, I'm a White Sox fan, a fact that once elicited a good natured apology from the same Mr. Obama for placing me in a news conference seat labeled for Cubs fans.

Now it's my turn to apologize. I was mortified to see that I'd taken the question away from Mr. Koff, who, to his credit, jumped up after me to demand his time.

All I can do is add my personal anecdote to the national health care debate: if insurance covered the hearing aid I so obviously need, I'd never have appeared to a national TV audience with a label underneath saying I was from Cleveland.


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Insurance companies cover Viagra for men but I know of no insurance plan that covers any form of birth control which would help lower abortion rates that so many are worried about


I'm sorry that you were embarrassed, but to your credit you find the humor in it:) I would like to add my sympathy, however, since I also have a degree of hearing loss. I can't imagine anything more exhausting than being a political reporter who hears poorly trying to cover a bunch of freakin' politicians talking double-speak out of both sides of their mouths. Ask for a raise!

Michael A. Fox

Don't Apologize!

I'm sure that it had to be embarassing, but what was more embarrassing was the quality of the questions asked by the national media last evening. They were awful. They certainly did not add anything worth knowing to the national health care debate.

Your question was the type of question that should have been asked by the media. It was specific and required a detailed answer that would have been enlightening.

Your question was the best one of the evening. I only wish the President had actually answered it. If he had answered it, all of us would be better informed on one of the most important issues in the proposal.

Thank you for asking it.

Michael A. Fox
Hamilton, Ohio

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