The coda

THE CODA…. It’s been a few days, and the political world has largely moved on, but the Huffington Post‘s Nico Pitney asking President Obama a question submitted by an Iranian continues to wrinkle some feathers. The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank has played a leading role in criticizing Nico — Milbank’s column on the subject included a series of errors of fact and judgment — and sat alongside Nico on CNN this morning to discuss the matter.

It led to quite a lively chat.

It’s not in the video, but as Howard Kurtz went on to introduce the next segment, Milbank whispered to Nico, “You’re such a dick.”

I guess he didn’t think the discussion went well.

For the record, Milbank again suggested this morning that Nico “worked in collusion” with the White House, and argued that presidential aides encouraged Nico to ask a question “a certain way.”

Milbank hasn’t produced evidence to bolster his claims, probably because they’re false. As Milbank should realize by now, the White House saw some value in answering a question from an Iranian, and knew Nico was in a position to offer one. Obama didn’t know the question in advance, Nico didn’t work in “collusion” with anyone, and not incidentally, Nico’s question was a good one that the president seemed anxious to dodge. (Honestly, if the White House were really going to “collude” with a journalist and encourage said journalist to ask a question “a certain way,” wouldn’t aides make it a softball?)

It’s a shame Milbank is still bothered by this, but his accusations, days later, remain unfounded. It’s one thing to be annoyed; it’s another to make up relevant details to fit a bogus conclusion in front of a national audience.