New York Times writer includes peculiar observation in press pool report

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Jackie Calmes of the New York Times authored a press pool report from New York City on Thursday that’s bound to raise eyebrows.

Traveling with the president on a fundraising trip to New York City, Calmes reported from an event at the 1,400-seat Broadway Theater.

Attendees paid upwards of $100 each to attend the Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

Entertainer Whoopi Goldberg was on hand. After guests watched her musical “Sister Act,” Goldberg took to the stage and “credited the president with bringing the economy back from crisis, health care reform and more.”

Obama then gave a rousing address, saying that “we’ve got a huge amount of work left to do” and ridiculing “the notion that I get a $200,000 tax break.”

(Obama campaigns to gays, blacks and businesses amidst conflicting agendas)

Calmes described that “Applause and cheers drowned out many of his lines,” making them inaudible to the reporter.

The culprit of reduced listening quality was fingered by Calmes, who wrote in the pool report, “The African-Americans in the audience frequently called out – like ‘that’s right!’ or ‘Uh-huh!’ or ‘talk about it!’ – as in a black church on Sunday.”

News publications that are members of the White House Press Corps rotate in reporters to presidential events and file observations to the rest of the press. It’s not unusual for the assigned pool reporter to offer humorous asides about the atmosphere at these events.