When those reporters were stonewalled about something they considered important, they got angry. Now let's look at Bush's press conference yesterday:
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. Sir, we've now learned through sworn testimony that at least three members of your administration, other than Scooter Libby, leaked Valerie Plame's identity to the media. None of these three is known to be under investigation. Without commenting on the Libby trial, then, can you tell us whether you authorized any of these three to do that, or were they authorized without your permission?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, thanks, Pete. I'm not going to talk about any of it.
QUESTION: They're not under investigation, though?
THE PRESIDENT: Peter, I'm not going to talk about any of it.
QUESTION: How about pardons, sir? Many people are asking whether you might pardon --
THE PRESIDENT: Not going to talk about it, Peter. (Laughter.) Would you like to think of another question? Being the kind man that I am, I will recycle you. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Thank you --
THE PRESIDENT: You like that one? "Recycling" him. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: That took care of one of my questions, as well, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: If that's the case, sit down. Next question. (Laughter.)
Look, the questions from the Post's Peter Baker were good, and the comparison is far from perfect, because in the first instance a campaign official was being questioned, and in the second the target was the President. What's more, the advent of the Internet and YouTube means reporters' performances at press conferences are far more public and more scrutinized than they used to be -- which probably means it's inevitable that reporters will be more careful and less confrontational. This isn't reflexive White House press corps criticism.
Pachacutec blogs at Firedoglake.