Generational squabbles are sometimes fun to watch. In Jimmy Kimmel's phrasing, "hilarious" actually.
It happened yesterday in the White House briefing room, where the next-gen corps of tweeting, facebooking journos got shown up by an even more next-gen new arrival who asked a tough question and got under the skin of boyish WH Press Secty Jay Carney.
The whole sordid spectacle can be seen by clicking this link http://www.mediaite.com/tv/rediculous-reporters-mock-sneer-at-daily-caller-intern-who-dared-ask-jay-carney-a-question/ and please do check the horrified tweets, but allow me to summarize:
Mr. Carney was holding his usual briefing room dribble and dodge session before the press corps which worked so hard to make sure Mr. Carney's boss kept his job (see 2012 Presidential election). Sitting before him were all the "young" journos, the next generation reporters who have supplanted all those graybeard dinos of yesteryear (btw, just how does Bill Plante of CBS hang on so long?).
These are the people who have benefited from the theme "we are the ones we've been waiting for." They represent the generation which elected the next-gen President and they take their next-gen responsibilities seriously. They are reporters and producers whose attitude about anyone who came before them is best encapsulated by the Rachel Jeantel characterization of the Zimmerman jury: "They old. They old school. This my generation."
Well. Suddenly the snoozy and cozy press briefing is interrupted by a young man who asks Carney a question, which goes more or less like this: The Zimmerman family has been getting death threats. Will the federal government do anything to help or are they on their own?
Carney responded in general terms, that it was a local matter, not the feds responsibility. At this point he was obviously skipping over President Obama's own intervention in the case ("If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon,") and the Department of Justice involvement in organizing rallies demanding George Zimmerman's arrest, not to mention the DOJ's efforts to find a reason to charge Zimmerman for civil rights violations.
The questioner quickly followed up, "So they're on their own?"
Carney bristled, calling the question "ridiculous" and accusing the reporter of "editorializing."
OK, Carney stinks up the place with bad reactions to questions he doesn't like all the time. No news there, or at least not much news.
What came after was the good part. The thirty-somethings regulars turned around and realized the questioner was a sixteen year old, a high school junior for gawdsakes, an intern from the Daily Caller website.
Oh the horror!
Who let a next-ER-gen into the next-gen room? Bitter tweets ensued.
The kid's question was a good one. The Daily Caller stoutly defended him, as it should.
But the spectacle of the new breed shamed by the newer breed with a question that should have been asked months ago... priceless.