Who are you?

I’m still at home this morning, watching President Bush’s news conference from what appears to be the Rose Garden (nice weather there. I saw snow flurries here this morning and there was ice on the deck).

The president at one point commented on some quesitoner’s suit. That got things sidetracked. Later on some other questioner started his question by noting that he, too, looked nice today.

“That’s not even a suit,” President Bush observed.

“Then you’ll have to give me more time in the morning,” the would-be questioner said. I guess 11 a.m. is dawn in Washington these days.

Anyway, it was then I realized there’s something I really miss about televised news conferences: they don’t show the names of the people asking the question anymore.

I flipped through CNBC, CNN and Fox. Nothing. Didn’t get a chance to check C-SPAN before I lost the satellite.

I suppose this is because TV networks don’t want to give publicity to another network. But NBC, CBS, and ABC used to do it and they were pretty cut-throat in their day.

Why does it matter to me? Because I want to know what shapes the question, and what the reporter/correspondent is thinking about. I know that quite often by mid-news conference — if not sooner — the reporter pretty much knows what the story is he’s going to write, and now he/she is filling in the blanks, looking for a particular quote or piece of tape.

You can learn a lot by watching or listening to news conferences. But quite often, a good story is who is asking the question.

I wish they weren’t so afraid to tell me.