Nico Pitney Explains His Question

There's been a thread of discussion today about the question asked yesterday by The Huffington Post's Nico Pitney at President Obama's midday news conference. It was provided by an Iranian and asked by Pitney in person, after the White House heard Pitney was soliciting such a question from Iranians and called him to say they wanted him to ask one at the press conference. Some have said that this was too much stagecraft by the White House--orchestrating or even planting a question ahead of time (it was, however, clear that Obama knew it was coming as he looked at Pitney and said he understood he had a question ready to go from an Iranian). Pitney's question was a fairly challenging one. It was: "Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad, and if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of what the demonstrators there are working toward?"

This morning, Pitney called into C-SPAN's Washington Journal and explained the question and how he got it, and how he orchestrated its delivery with the White House.



Here are some of Pitney's remarks:

I had some Iranian contacts write up a Farsi language translation of the request for questions, we posted it on Twitter, there's a Farsi language social networking site...which agreed to post my request on their front page, so we had a ton of questions submitted there. Facebook, we also used and, as I noted, email, so we tried to be very broad...

They were very professional about it. They did not have any interest, and nor would I, of course, have told them what the question was going to be. Their main interest was in --I mean, as I said I had posted a notice on our website. We'd been liveblogging the unrest there for almost ten, eleven days now, and I said I'd like to ask the president a question on behalf of an Iranian. They contacted and said, "Well, we'd be happy to have you do that." But otherwise it was, it went along like any other question, and I felt like it was a tough question , so I was happy with how it turned out.
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In