Daniel Doherty

Really? I beg to differ. And for the record, any thinking person who watched that oh-so-servile Obama/Hillary interview conducted by Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes last January knows Mr. Pfeiffer is lying through his teeth:

President Obama has built a reputation for going around the traditional White House press corps in favor of so-called soft media, taking his message to “The View”, ESPN and friendly local radio, among other general-entertainment outlets.

Who can forget these hard-hitting questions Obama was asked by a New Mexico radio station last August: “What’s your favorite song to work out to?” “If you had a superpower, what would it be?”

But senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer scoffed at the suggestion that the White House is deliberately avoiding tough questions.

“There is no such thing as a softball interview,” he insisted during a Politico breakfast on Wednesday morning.

He noted that Obama fielded serious questions on drones from Jon Stewart and that a recent appearance on Jay Leno’s show was far more than fluff.

“We’re going to do interviews with everyone from Jon Stewart to 60 Minutes to Bill Simmons’ pod cast – and everything in between – if that’s what it’s going to take to reach audiences, particularly those between 18 and 35 who don’t consume media in the same way,” Pfeiffer said.

There are plenty of examples -- especially during the 2012 election -- when the president went on overtly friendly television/radio shows to gossip -- i.e., not to answer tough, nuanced questions about policy. And sure, while not every conversation was a cakewalk, to say that “there is no such thing” as a softball interview is absurd to me. Case in point: how would one describe this exchange between President Obama and a local New Mexico radio station last year, which subsequently became fodder for a Republican attack ad released by the RNC? Here’s a taste of that conversation:

To be clear: I’m not suggesting that accepting this “interview” was somehow beneath the office of president of the United States. On the contrary, I think it was very smart politics and probably helped him reach out to low-information, clueless voters -- many of whom helped re-elect him. On the other hand, what I am saying is that there’s absolutely no way to describe what you just heard as anything other than “soft,” despite what Mr. Pfeiffer or any of his colleagues might say.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography