For the last question at his press conference yesterday, Obama was asked by CNN's
Suzanne Malveaux about his reaction to that video and to reports that Iranians
are refraining from protesting due to fear of such violence. As Obama was
answering -- attesting to how "heartbreaking" he found the video; how "anybody
who sees it knows that there's something fundamentally unjust" about the
violence; and paying homage to "certain international norms of freedom of
speech, freedom of expression" -- Helen Thomas, who hadn't been called on,
interrupted to ask Obama to reconcile those statements about the Iranian
images with his efforts at home to suppress America's own torture
photos ("Then why won't you allow the photos --").
The President quickly cut her off with these remarks:
THE PRESIDENT: Hold on a second, Helen. That's a different question.
The White House Press corps loves to laugh condescendingly at Helen
Thomas because, tenaciously insisting that our sermons to others be applied to
our own Government, she acts like a real reporter[...]
The premise of Thomas' question was compelling and (contrary to
Obama's dismissal) directly relevant to Obama's answers: how is it
possible for Obama to pay dramatic tribute to the "heartbreaking" impact of that
Neda video in bringing to light the injustices of the Iranian Government's
conduct while simultaneously suppressing images that do the same with regard to
our own Government's conduct?
The Neda Question
The following is from Salon.com: