Ed Henry and Fox News were made for each other. Here's a clip from today's presidential news conference where Ed asks a predictably stupid question, which President Obama is happy to use to smack him around verbally a little bit.
Actually, Ed's question was two separate ones, but the framing was classic Fox News.
HENRY: Followup on Israel and Iran because you have said repeatedly you have Israel's back. So I wonder why three years in office you have not visited Israel as President. And related to Iran and Israel, you have been concerned about this loose talk of war as you call it driving up gas prices further. Your critics will say on Capitol Hill that you want gas prices to go higher because you have said before that would wean the American people off fossil fuels to renewable fuels. How do you respond to that?
Yes Ed, let's not mention that those nameless critics include every single opinionator on Fox News, and those same opinionators are all completely hawkish on war with Iran in the name of "defending Israel." But catch the President's smile during the second question. He was ready, and here's his answer:
OBAMA: Ed, just from a political perspective, do you think the President of the United States going into a re-election campaign wants gas prices to go up higher?
Henry's doe-eyed, innocent look back at the President while saying "I'm just asking" was hysterical. No, Ed Henry wasn't trying to set up a Fox News meme, he was "just asking," doncha know? So President Obama put it to the rest of them in the room.
OBAMA: Does anybody here think that makes a lot of sense? Look. Here's the bottom line with respect to gas prices. I want gas prices lower because they hurt families, because I meet folks every day who have to drive a long way to get to work and them filling up this gas tank gets more and more painful and it's a tax out of their pocketbooks, out of their paychecks. And a lot of folks are already operating on the margins right now. And it's not good for the overall economy because when gas prices go up, consumer spending oftentimes pulls back. And we're in the midst right now of a recovery that is starting to build up steam and we don't want to reverse it.
He went on to talk about the fact that there's no magic silver bullet to the gas price problem, and that a long-term strategy of moving to other types of fuel is the real answer to solving the problem, but stressed that it's not an overnight solution. He also reminded listeners that this is an annual occurrence that won't change until we change our dependence on oil.
President Obama: 1 Fox News: 0
Moving right along to the smarmy, snarky question about Israel, the President said this:
OBAMA: Now moving on to Israel, I am not the first President who been unable because of a whole range of issues to visit Israel as President in their first term. I visited Israel twice as Senator, once right before I became President.
The measure of my commitment to Israel is not measured by a single visit. The measure of my commitment to Israel is seen in the actions I've taken as President of the United States and it is indisputable that I've had Israel's back over the last three years.
Smackdown complete. President Obama: 2 Fox News: 0
There were a lot of questions about Iran and Israel, but also about Rush Limbaugh and his call last week to Sandra Fluke. His answer was what I would have expected. He pointed out that he is the father of two daughters and places a high priority on engagement. He hoped they will feel as though they can engage in issues and speak out without being called unspeakable names.
The press definitely tried to pull him in closer to the controversy, but he stayed above it, simply saying that he wasn't going to comment on anything other than to express support for a private citizen who chose to speak out on an issue she was passionate about.
President Obama's smackdown wasn't limited to Ed Henry. He also nailed Mitt Romney's ridiculous claim that he will keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but that's worthy of its own post.