Martin Bashir | June 19, 2012
>> let's get right to our panel now. joining us jonathan kaypart, an opinion writer for the wash wash post and msnbc contributor. christian bull, a democratic strategist and msnbc contributor, and edward wycoff williams, a political analyst and contributor to the root eme ebb by magazine, and the huffington post . good afternoon to all of you.
>> hi, martin.
>> isn't the esteemed fox bernie goldberg correct when he says of presidential heckler neil monroe , i think he is a jerk. there's actually been some genuine bipartisan agreement on mr. monroe 's actions there.
>> i would hope so. i mean, no one questions the right of any american, but particularly a journalist asking the president of the united states questions. where neil monroe crossed the line by a mile is by questioning the president before he even finished -- before he even finished speaking, one, and also, yelling out a question where he knew questions wouldn't be -- wouldn't be entertained.
>> shut up, jonathan . i'm asking you a question. no, i'm interrupting you. shut up. crystal. on fox they were questioning a parallel where reagan had a similar kind of conflict. as i understand it, it actually finished.
>> yeah. similar except for one important thing, which is that he had actually finished his statement before the question was lobbed. you know, credit where credit is due. it's good to see some criticism from fox news to monroe . i guess being a jerk is sort of like pornography. it's hard to define, but when you see it, you know it. you know it when you see it. i think that's the case here. i mean, it's always hard to say what's out of line because you do, as a journalist, want to be aggressive, you want to get an answer to the question, but when you see someone just lanely disrespecting the president and not to mention, their fellow journalists who are also there to hear the statement and have their own questions, that clearly crosses the line of lack of professionalism and just plain disrespect.
>> so jerk. okay. edward , one aspect that gets scant question, and that's the first question. i'm quoting here. mr. president, why do you favor foreign workers over americans? do you agree that what he said is actually much worse than how he said it?
>> it's much worse. i'm so glad that you actually quoted him, martin, because particularly as british-born person yourself and i have lived in england for about eight years, i think it's sort of disingenuous and sort of cognitive dissident example here of someone who is irish working in america, but somehow believes that he is more legitimate than a hispanic who comes here as an immigrant, and i think that it speaks to sort of a white supremist ideology, this idea that somehow being white in and of itself is mainstream, and somehow he is more deserving of being in america even though is he foreign-born than the hispanics or asians or africans who come seeking the american dream , and i wish that more people in the mainstream media would call him out on that aspect of what he said.
>> indeed. wron jonathan , what strikes me as particularly hip critical about the monroe defense is how sold they are about the candidate for president who goes around and refuses to take questions from the press. doesn't that describe mitt romn romney?
>> yes, romney seems to be in the witness protection program in these very sort of very controlled settings and whether the back of the plane with very few people or on fox news. his only venture outside of his bubble was with bob schieffer over at "face the nation." yeah, mitt romney , it appears as though he is going to try to run for president without answering any hard substantive questions on a routine, regular basis. not only from the people who travel with him, but also -- and cover him, but from reporters in general.
>> sorry. go ahead.
>> even when he does take questions too, he won't say where he stands on issues. we have a growing list of issues that he refuses to take a position on.
>> why are you surprised by that? he doesn't have any policy. he doesn't have anything. he doesn't know anything.
>> it's clear, and the things he has taken a position on, he has been everywhere across the board prior. he even when he does sit down for the interview, you don't get any answers.
>> john, do you expect to ever have the opportunity to ask mitt romney a question during this presidential campaign ?
>> certainly. when i hope the governor will come to the washington post for an editorial board endorsement interview where we would all have an opportunity to ask him a question.
>> yeah. and he probably won't answer. good luck with that. edward , final question to you. do you think that mitt romney 's strategy of only appearing with friendly journalists on one particular network is going to serve him well throughout this campaign? i mean, can he get to the election with never really having been subjected to any kind of independent scrutiny from anybody other than a fox news journalist?
>> i don't. i think that the three debates that are set up are going to sort of bring him out because people are going to be asking the tough questions on immigration and health care reform in particular, and specifically on this issue that i think a lot of you have been really responsible in addressing, which is how exactly does he believe his private sector experience supports the idea that he knows how to fix this economy. i think a part of this only appearing with friendly journalists on hannity and such, it reminds me of the game changer herself, sarah palin , and we know how this turns out. she wasn't asked tough questions, wasn't vetted correctly, and has now built a media -- a mini media empire on tlc and reality shows and a daughter dancing with the stars and an ex-son-in-law posing in play girl. i think that mitt romney , if he is really going to serve -- if he is going to search his own campaign well, his chances well, he is going to have to stand up and answer the tough questions and do that on a national platform. not just a conservative win.
>> to that point, he did sit down with a highly respected journalist in the form of bob schieffer . what did you learn from that interview on his position in relation to the immigration announcement that the president made.
>> absolutely nothing.
>> thank you very much.
>> crystal, jonathan , and edward , i