Dan Froomkin has an interesting insight into the way the White House press corps works, and why they often seem to ignore big issues such as the president’s credibility:
Typically, however, Bush didn’t actually answer the question — choosing to respond with some generic comments about his authority. And, like many tough questions, it was not aggressively followed up. Bush does not tolerate multiple questions from a single reporter, and other reporters are loathe to give up their questions to repeat one from a colleague.
The other thing is that daily news reporters tend to ask breaking-news questions rather than big-picture questions. That’s a mistake, especially given how prepared Bush is with a vaguely relevant but usually non-responsive sound bite for virtually any breaking-news question. But it’s the nature of the beast.
Now, wouldn’t it be a dream come true, a fantasy really, if all the White House reporters got together and decided that for one day, they wanted an answer to one question. The first reporter would ask it, Bush would talk around it. The second reporter would ask it again. Bush would blow it off. The third reporter would ask it again. Bush would start to get flustered. The fourth reporter would ask it again. Bush would call an end to the press conference and stalk off in a huff.
Wouldn’t that look great on C-SPAN?