By all accounts, the administration's push for change on gun control following the massacre in Newtown, Conn., last week, is a major step.
But the White House press corps apparently missed the memo. When the president opened the briefing up to questions, reporters wasted the opportunity.
The first four questions were all on the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations, rather than the topic at hand.
Finally, for the fifth question, the questions turned back to gun violence.
On Twitter, media outside the room watched first in disbelief, then exasperation and finally anger as Obama fielded questions about his discussions with Speaker of the House John Boehner, his willingness to fall off the fiscal cliff and the deal the hopes Congress will make.
It began with optimism...
Obama is taking questions? What a rare treat for the press corps.— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) December 19, 2012
Which fell away quickly.
White House press corps wants to talk about fiscal cliff; Twitternation wants to know about gun restrictions.— Jim Roberts (@nytjim) December 19, 2012
.@aburnspolitico When it's the FIRST TIME A SITTING PRESIDENT HAS DISCUSSED GUN CONTROL IN TWO DECADES.— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) December 19, 2012
Wow. the White House handlers had to ask the press to ask about Newtown.— Michael McAuliff (@mmcauliff) December 19, 2012
Really glad we have a vibrant, aggressive WH press corps. #not— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) December 19, 2012
President makes a huge statement indicating massive gun law change after 20 kids slaughtered - and next 10 minutes spent discussing taxes.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 19, 2012
Obama makes historic statement re guns - and first 3 questions after are about TAX? This is exactly why America's gun crisis will continue.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 19, 2012
Fact that America's top political reporters think taxes are more important than guns says it all. Sadly.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 19, 2012
The DC press corps spent a week on twitter being indignant about guns, then couldn't ask POTUS a serious Q when given chance.— Meredith Shiner (@meredithshiner) December 19, 2012
I'm ashamed of the White House Press Corps for refusing to engage gun control.Cowardice or incompetence or both?— Hugo Schwyzer (@hugoschwyzer) December 19, 2012
In addition to gun control, we need a program whereby broad swaths of Washington press corps are reassigned to Reality, USA.— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) December 19, 2012
This press conference might be final proof that the Washington press corps is incapable of asking questions about things people care about.— kaysteiger (@kaysteiger) December 19, 2012
The WH press corps has forgotten about Newtown.— Mike Hayes (@michaelhayes) December 19, 2012
Shared sentiment on Twitter about the time it took White House press corps to ask a question about guns: twitter.com/ericathas/stat…— ericathas (@ericathas) December 19, 2012
This press conference right here is part of why gun control will be hard to pass. WH press corps doesn't seem to care.— Alex Koppelman (@AlexKoppelman) December 19, 2012
The White House press corps is a clown act.— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) December 19, 2012
I'm surprised the White House Press Corps didn’t ask Obama about Instagram.— Andrew Nacin (@nacin) December 19, 2012
I'm waiting for one of them to ask him what it's like to be Time person of the year RT @jdlahart: What is wrong with the DC press corps?— Liam Denning (@liamdenning) December 19, 2012
Guns? Yawn. What Do You Think of John Boehner's Tan? mojo.ly/XKupyp— Kevin Drum (@kdrum) December 19, 2012
And the press corps explodes into a chorus of "Benghazi" right as Obama closes off questions. Darn! So close. Nice try, guys. A for effort.— Noah Rothman (@noah_c_rothman) December 19, 2012
At least there was Jack Tapper.