Local Reporters Treat Obama Interview Like Tourists Rather Than Journalists

May 3, 2016

Two local news reporters who interviewed President Obama on Monday about the White House campaign to get Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court seemed to treat the occasion like wide-eyed tourists rather than journalists.

America Rising Squared flagged several clips and tweets of reporters Cammy Dierking of Local 12-Cincinnati and Kari Lake of Fox 10-Phoenix gushing about their excitement over talking to Obama, giving him a card and confessing heart palpitations.

"Another highlight of my day was the chance to see the first dogs, Sunny and Bo," Dierking said during her report. "I even got a picture with them. They are Portuguese water dogs, they're hypo-allergenic and they are super cute. That was pretty cool ... all in all, it's been an amazing day at the White House."

She later tweeted it was the "Best. Day. Ever."

Lake's fellow Phoenix anchor touted how she was "picked" to talk with Obama one-on-one and "what a day" she must have had.

"Oh man, I can't believe this day," Lake said. "Really, since we got into D.C., it's been a whirlwind."

Later, she told her fellow anchor that preparing to talk to Obama was "unnerving," who agreed that it's "intense" to speak to the president.

"I have to tell you that for the first two minutes, my heart was ready to pound and beat out of my chest, but I finally calmed down a bit and got through the interview," Lake said. "It is frustrating, though, to only have four minutes with the president. He's very much trying to control the message. Thankfully, we were able to ask him a couple of other questions, but as you know, the president can be long-winded and he stays on message. He's very good at doing that, so it's hard to get him flustered or move him off whatever the message is he's trying to put out."

Lake gave Obama a card her daughter made for him while they set up microphones for their interview, "which led to some advice on parenting."

One of Fox 10's producers tweeted his thanks on Tuesday to the White House for a "great" event.

Not every reporter there was as impressed. The Washington Examiner noted WMUR-ABC reporter Josh McElveen wrote a first-person account of behind-the-scenes interactions with White House staff. He said he was not there because of his "sparkling personality," noting all six local anchors who were invited came from states with Senate Republicans facing re-election in 2016.