Reporter's Note: Each day throughout the year I send a letter off to the White House. So far the president has not responded, but perhaps this is the day…
Dear Mr. President,
I attended the NRA press conference this morning not far from the White House, and I thought about walking over to say hi, but ended up getting too busy…you know how it is. I don’t suppose, btw, that I should call it a press conference, since they refused to take any questions. That makes it more of a speech or statement, and as you know, in D.C. that makes a big difference.
Anyone can stand up and say what he or she thinks. It is a whole other matter to let people grill you afterward…to poke at your ideas, tear into your statements, and generally make a mess out of your carefully constructed presentation. I understand why no public figure relishes that process, especially on such a sensitive subject as guns and gun laws.
That said I tend to think that most leaders are better served when they do take questions. Yes, yes, I realize that we media types can be as unruly as a room full of wet cats. We can ask questions that are off the subject, we can become obsessed about minor issues while missing major ones, and we can engage in “gotcha” journalism which, for my money, really does precious little to help anyone, least of all our readers or viewers who just want clarity.
Still, I believe the most robust ideas and carefully considered plans can stand up to the scrutiny.
I’m not taking a swing at the NRA here, because these are things I would say about any group. It just came to mind because I was there this morning and they did not answer any questions no matter how hard we tried to ask them. They did say that they will be happy to answer questions through their press office next week. I’m not sure why. Seems like it would have been more convenient for everyone if we just asked them while we were all in the same room, but I guess if they wanted me to be in charge they would ask me to take over.
Anyway, I need to cut this short a bit since I have Christmas shopping to do. Yes, that’s right…not all of us have a staff to take care of that. Ha!
Call if you can.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with