President XI Looked Awful Being Petulant On World Stage

There are things one never should do on the world stage.    Today we witnessed one of them.   A very rare treat was given to reporters but one of the main players could not muster what it takes to stand before the press.

I know everyone gets tired, cranky, bent out of shape, and just wants to get the day over with.   We all have those days.  But when you are a leader of a nation you suck it up, put your chin out, and pretend the world is one large apple pie with real whipped cream piled high.  Anything less is just not acceptable.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, was encouraged to take questions directly from the press.  It is a blue moon for such an occasion and even more rare for him to stand alongside another major leader on the world stage during a press conference.  Leading up to this visit the White House had lobbied intensively for reporters’ questions to be taken.

And so all were gathered in the Great Hall of the People.

So far so good, right?

But clearly Xi did not put on his big boy pants today because when a New York Times reporter asked a serious and polite question about allowing foreign correspondents to have easier access with visas so to be able to report Xi simply ignored it, pulled the ear-piece away from his head that allowed for translation, and asked for the next question.

I saw the coverage tonight on NewsHour and needed to replay the video as it was just shocking to see this play out on the world stage.

I get it that the Chinese press is kept away from the top man who never has to address tough questions from lowly folks such as reporters.  But surely XI has the ability to view how the rest of the world operates.  Certainly XI has had a chance to view the give-and-take when a British Prime Minister fields questions each week from a lively parliament or how reporters like CBS White House reporter Major Garrett seemingly asks 17 questions all at once and demands an answer.

If anyone needs to know how it must feel to have news strangled and tossed aside in places like China only needs to watch the video.  If anyone cares to know what press freedom is all about only needs to watch the video.

Fighting for reporters to have the chance to do their jobs without governmental interference is always a good thing.  Seeing a communist leader dismiss the role of the press so cavalierly is simply embarrassing as it is so shameful.

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