- The Indian American White House correspondent’s jaw-dropping question to the President goes viral.
It has been a question on every journalist’s lips for three and a half years. But was never uttered. That changed last week. Shirish V. Date, a senior White House correspondent for the HuffPost, shocked everyone at the daily White House news briefing when he asked the dumbfounded President Trump, if he regretted all the lying he had done to the American people over the last three and a half years.
Unable to believe what he was hearing, President Trump asked him to repeat his question, only to disregard it and move onto the next question, leaving Date waiting for a response.
Date later tweeted that he has been “wanting to ask him that for five years.”
In his tweet, he also writes that, “Everyone knows the president lies. Most people understand that he does it every day, about pretty much everything. We’ve gotten used to it. What we forget is just how corrosive it is to our democracy.”
In less than half an hour, his tweet had garnered 50,000 likes and nearly 6,000 retweets and comments.
In July, The Washington Post reported that Trump had told more than 20,000 “false or misleading claims” over the course of his presidency.
Date’s ballsy question has been met with equal amounts of kudos and criticism on Twitter. Liberals have hailed him as heroic while Trump supporters have called it “more evidence of fake news.” The conservatives have also called him a “hack” and accused him of “grandstanding.”
Heavy.com reports that Shem Horne, a pro-Trump twitter personality called Date a “cry baby,” suggesting that Trump supporters start “our own White House press association.”
Speaking to The Guardian, Date said that he asked the heavy-hitter because it was the first time that he had had the chance. “I don’t know why he called on me, because I’ve tried to ask him before (in March) and he’s cut me off mid-question. Maybe he didn’t recognize me this time,” he said, adding, “you know he has this group of folks that he normally asks questions of.”
It was Date’s turn on White House in press pool and so he had a prominent seat. “I had always thought that if he ever did call on me, this is the one thing that is really central to his presidency,” he told The Guardian.
Date has been an accomplished political reporter for over 30 years for several news outlets including the Associated Press, Palm Beach Post, National Journals and NPR. He has also written a political biography on Jeb Bush – one of Trump’s 2016 Republican rivals for the Presidential nominations. Titled “Jeb: America’s next Bush,” was based on Date’s local reporting on Bush before his presidential run, according to Date’s website.
According to heavy.com, Date’s pinned tweet directs users to an article he wrote in January, “The Ministry of Untruth” which made the argument that Trump is “regularly and aggressively dishonest and that it is harming the country.”
Date has also written the biography of former Florida Senator, Bob Graham – “Quite Passion.” He has also authored five novels – “Final Orbit,” “Speed Week,” “Smokeout,” “Deep Water” and “Black Sunshine.” Much of his writings, both journalistic and fiction, revolves around politics.
His works have been published in POLITICO Magazine, The Atlantic, National Journal, The Washington Post, The New Republic and Slate.
Born on February 13, 1964 in Pune, India, he immigrated with his family to the United States in 1967. Date grew up in Waltham, Mass., Rochester, N.Y. and Anaheim, Calif, before graduating with a bachelor’s in political science from Stanford University in 1985.
Familiar with ruffling feathers, Date has won awards for journalism, including a 2003 series exposing fraud and abuse in Gov. Jeb Bush’s prized school voucher program. It prompted a criminal investigation.
Always the one to challenge norms, his 2002 reporting about the Florida state House speaker’s hiring of an unqualified aide – a former waitress at the Tallahassee Hooters restaurant – led to him becoming the first reporter to be banned from that chamber.
Date enjoys sailing and according to his website, “between Tallahassee and Washington were some 15,000 nautical miles aboard Juno. Date and his two school-aged sons crossed the Atlantic and sailed into the Mediterranean as far as the Aegean islands.” The website adds that they spent almost two years exploring Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco, the Canary and Cape Verde islands, the Caribbean and the Bahamas, before riding the Gulf stream north around Cape Hatteras and sailing up the Chesapeake.
He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two sons.
Anu Ghosh immigrated to the U.S. from India in 1999. Back in India she was a journalist for the Times of India in Pune for 8 years and a graduate from the Symbiosis Institute of Journalism and Communication. In the U.S., she obtained her Masters and PhD. in Communications from The Ohio State University. Go Buckeyes! She has been involved in education for the last 15 years, as a professor at Oglethorpe University and then Georgia State University. She currently teaches Special Education at Oak Grove Elementary. She is also a mom to two precocious girls ages 11 and 6.