A common refrain on the Press Pool with Julie Mason this week: Remember when August was a slow news month? It used to be safe for journalists and presidents to be like lawmakers and take long, desultory vacations in August. Because what could possibly go wrong?
President Obama was back on Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday when he appeared before reporters to condemn the murder of journalist James Foley by ISIL in Iraq.
“From governments and peoples across the Middle East there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer, so that it does not spread,” Obama said. “There has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.”
Chris Stirewalt of Fox News said Obama had a choice to make about how to respond. Early indications suggest the president, despite stentorian tones, will not markedly change course in Iraq.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s extreme political makeover was interrupted by a two-count indictment for abuse of power. After turning himself in to authorities and smiling enigmatically for his mug shot, Perry addressed supporters and then went for ice cream. Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News joined the show to consider Perry’s situation.
Meanwhile in Ferguson, MO., clashes between police and protesters continued following the shooting death of an unarmed young black man, Michael Brown. DeShuna Spencer of emPower Magazine and host of the emPower Hour on DC’s 89.3 FM WPFW, joined Jules in the Press Pool.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is traveling his state talking pension reform. At one stop, the irascible pol got into a major snit with a constituent who challenged his Bruce Springsteen-heavy playlist at official events. Dave Catanese of U.S. News puzzled with Jules over how the governor’s trademark verbal sparring might play in the early presidential primary states.
The show this week also featured a fun chat with Bill Flook of the Washington Business Journal on the topic of government fetishization of entrepreneurs. Flook said Living Social, once a booming concern that is now struggling, is a great example of the phenom.