'You’re certainly free to ask them, Chip.'

We’ll skip the President’s prepared remarks: as Jennifer Rubin more or less noted, the semantic content was low, and what there was of it is contradicted by this administration’s past, present, and expected actions. So let’s just skip ahead to the end (via Andrew Malcolm):

[Video not working: see here, or skip to transcript after the fold]

From the transcript:

(The bill is signed.)

There you go. Thank you, everybody. Appreciate it.

Q Speaking of press freedom, could you answer a couple of questions on BP?

THE PRESIDENT: You’re certainly free to ask them, Chip.

Q Will you answer them? How about a question on Iran?

THE PRESIDENT: We won’t be answering — I’m not doing a press conference today, but we’ll be seeing you guys during the course of this week. Okay?

Note that there was no actual promise of a press conference there. The President infamously does not hold press conferences: largely because he stammers worse than I do in anything except the most controlled of media environments, and because he is not very good at thinking up concise and meaningful responses to questions (particularly unexpected ones). And the President knows that he can still get away with not having press conferences; hence that not-actually-genial mocking of Chip… Reid, of CBS?

I’d feel bad for the press, except that – as I’ve mentioned in the past – you really can’t respect people who refuse to respect themselves.