Too Bad Obama Stuck to Softballs at Reddit Forum

President avoided tough questions from users
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2012 2:44 PM CDT
Barack Obama posted this photo to Reddit to "prove" that he was really there answering users' questions.   (Reddit)

(Newser) – President Obama stopped by Reddit's famed "Ask Me Anything" forum yesterday, and drew so many eyeballs that he briefly crashed the site. Excitement ran rampant—Mashable called it an "important moment for the intersection of politics and Internet culture," and a "coming-out party" for Reddit. "So does it matter that Mr. Obama said virtually nothing new," asks Peter Grier of the Christian Science Monitor. Obama answered 10 questions during the 30-minute stunt, including softballs like "Who's your favorite basketball player?" (Answer: "Jordan—I'm a Bulls guy.")

Left conspicuously unanswered, Will Oremus of Slate observes, were highly-voted questions on Guantanamo Bay, soldiers with PTSD, and above all the war on drugs. "Should have been titled, 'Ask Me Almost Anything,'" one user quipped. It turns out, writes Alexis Madrigal of the Atlantic, that Reddit "is a terrible format for extracting information from a politician." Yes you can ask them anything, "but maybe just asking the questions is not really the tough part." Obama was free to pick and choose what he answered, making it "a campaign stop … all kissing babies and shaking hands, only with more LOLs." Personally, we kind of wish he'd answered some of these. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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