Knoller Knows The White House

stock photo of the White House AP

CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller has been checking out the White House Booth mailbox. He's found viewers have a lot of questions on a wide variety of topics.

I would like to know why there wasn't more outrage from the White House Press Corps regarding the whole "Jeff Gannon" incident. Has any previous administration so blatantly brought in someone with no credentials to toss softball questions at the press secretary? Why didn't the legitimate press corps show some backbone and stage a walkout?
Matthew Anton, New York City


You should know that the White House Press Corps has no say in which reporters are accredited or given access by the White House Press Office. It would be a slippery slope if we did. There are a number of reporters whose questions I find biased, but that's part of freedom of the press. As for staging a walkout: no one would be happier to see reporters head out the door than White House officials. We're not at the White House to try to score political points or protest. Our job is to report on White House actions and policies so you - the public - can know what's going on in your name and at your expense.

Why didn't Bush nominate a woman for the Supreme Court? We are once again being ignored and under represented by the government. Bush even ignored his own wife, in this regard, who is unquestionably by far the smarter and more fair minded of the two!
Jackie Hughes, Chesapeake, VA


White House officials say President Bush simply regarded Judge John Roberts as the best qualified of the prospective nominees he considered. We know at least one woman was among the five finalists with whom Mr. Bush conducted personal interviews. But top aides say the President made his choice based on the merits, not gender.

My question is why do so many reporters ask someone who has just been, or is presently going through a very traumatic event, "How do you feel?" Isn't it obvious how they feel when they see their home go up in flames, or see someone killed, or something else equally disturbing?
Susan Dwyer


Over 30 years in journalism, I've covered my share of disasters: hurricanes, tornadoes, building collapses and floods. And believing as you do, I've tried to steer clear of the "how do you feel" question. You're right. It's dumb - and perhaps even insulting. But a reporter's job is to convey the depth of loss suffered by disaster victims. And "how do you feel" is the quickest way to get someone to reflect on what happened. There are other ways to get the same response. But I have found that sometimes dumb questions get the very best answers.


  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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