The Rachel Maddow Show | February 19, 2013
>>> this is parents magazine . the subject matter is self-explanatory. they have stories about little kids and slightly bigger kids and the parents who love them and want to treat them well. but today things were a little different at parents magazine hq, because they along with facebook hosted a town hall with vice president joe biden . people posted questions for the vice president on the facebook page of parent magazine, and this moderator posed those questions to mr. biden, and he answered.
>> claire fairish bremer asks does it make sense to provide armed guards for our schools like those that are provided for government buildings? do you believe that banning certain weapons in high capacity magazines will mean that law-abiding citizens will then become more after target to criminals? tessa gray asks should parents who don't have guns in their homes demand to know which of their children's friends have guns in the homes?
>> i have parents magazine . i've never heard anybody in parents magazine ask these kinds of questions, but i'm delighted to answer them.
>> that's right. people do not usually ask those kinds of questions in parents magazine . the kinds of questions that do get asked in parents magazine tend to be like is home birth for you and is clean your plate a recipe for obesity. and this one is both a question and the answer. what time is it? it's baby time! that's the usual type of question that you get in parents magazine . but obviously nobody is going to say about their should i clean the plate, it's baby time questions for the sitting vice president of the united states . people are going to ask him hard questions. even in that john journalist-based facebook -moderated forum, they're going to ask him about guns in homes and armed guards in schools and the example of the war on drugs, right? well, this weekend president obama went to florida, played golf with some friends. also tiger woods , according to mr. woods, the president and him played as partners, and they beat whoever it was they were playing against. i do not know from golf. but even losing is probably fun if you are losing to, like, the greatest golfer ever, let alone playing alongside him as mr. president did. tiger woods said they had a great time. not having a great time the press. the white house press corps is very angry about this weekend. fuming, incredulous that the president was there golfing with tiger woods and they were not allowed to watch. the white house press corps was kept out completely from the golf outing. the only journalist who got to go in was somebody from golf digest . one abc reporter calling it a disgrace. a fox news reporter saying there was, quote, extreme frustration. the president must be fearful of talking with them, them meaning white house reporters. the beltway press is seriously frustrated by what they see as their lack of access to this white house . but outside the normal interacts between the president and the press that covers the white house , the president and the president are putting themselves out there to answer questions about why a ban on guns would work when a ban on drugs wouldn't? and should internet freedom be added to the party platform of the democratic party ? should democrats take a stand on that? and this one, the mortgage interest deduction that helps people afford their homes. what is going to be happening to that? and will the white house take action to limit the abuse of software patents ? would they, for example, support limiting software patents to just five years? those questions, those substantive questions about real policy issues, those came not from professional journalists covering the white house as part of their paid beat. those came from regular folks that the white house put the president in the position of being questioned by on twitter and at a google plus hangout. and the gun questions, before, those were from parents magazine readers via their facebook page. the professional press core plays an important role. no matter how you feel about the beltway media, you want the president and the vice president to get grilled by professional reporters answering to professional editors operating in the proud tradition of the free and professional press that is good for the country. that is as good for the country as any other check and balance that we have for the nation. but as the white house press corps pines for more access, there is a thing that we're getting more and more of that we haven't had since whenever the last time was that presidents mingled among us without intermediaries, if there ever was that time. multiple repeated forums where regular citizens get to ask direct questions of the president or the vice president in a setting where you actually can expect an answer. it's not journalism. it is not a substitute for journalism. but there is something important i think to be found in the distance between the types of questions that are being asked by regular folks when they get a chance and the types of questions that are being asked by the white house press corps when they get their chance. that distance is a big distance. it is worrying about the press corps that those two streams of questions being directed at the white house from citizens and from the beltway press often seem like they are from two totally different universes. king