Irish journalist who heckled President Obama is a disgrace

Neil Munro at the Rose Garden at the White House

The Irish-born journalist, Neil Munro, who heckled President Obama in the Rose Garden displayed not only bad manners but also a lack of professionalism that should get him fired.

Munro’s Twitter feed says he was “Born Irish, then became a Cold War bridegroom” – whatever that means.

Journalists have a job to do and the rules are pretty much defined -- the White House press corps rules even more so -- given the importance of every speech and the need for ground rules.

President Obama was making a major speech on immigration policy. Munro, educated at University College Dublin, was there for the micro-site the Daily Caller run by former right-wing talk show host Tucker Carlson.

The protocol could not be clearer, especially in the Rose Garden. The president speaks, the journalists listen and then there are usually a few questions.

Munro disdained all that protocol to put himself in the upper class twit category (Kings College, old chap) by interrupting the president and heckling him on immigration.

Reading Munro’s resume with its right wing musings, you know it was a very deliberate move by Munro who will enjoy a brief flicker of flame, especially on the far right, with this move.

These are the same people who made a brief hero out of an obscure congressman who shouted “you lie” at Obama during the State of the Union address in 2009.

The same people who no doubt educate their children to be respectful of adults and always remember to be polite — except when it comes to the president of the United States.

When it all dies away, however, Munro will be back to well-deserved obscurity, and hopefully his editors, who are unlikely to fire him, will too.

There has to be a modicum of decency, a set of social rules that are followed in such circumstances, irrespective of who the president is, Republican or Democrat.

Munro didn’t know about them or decided to ignore them. His pathetic excuse that he was trying to be first to ask a question doesn’t wash – in fact it is an obvious lie.

If you watch the video he has his hands in his pockets – he is not even reporting, merely looking to make a splash.

Now, of course, he has, and the right wing hosts like Sean Hannity have rushed to embrace him.

Sad, isn’t it.