President Obama unexpectedly held a hush-hush briefing about Iran last week.

 According to the Washington Post:

 A small group of journalists was invited to a "background session" on Iran policy with "senior National Security Staff." The briefer turned out to be Obama. 

It's hard to tell whether his appearance was for appearance's sake, or whether there was some a good reason behind it, but Stephen Walt makes clear that  the one thing the President didn't do was offer any clearer explanation of the rationale behind his Iran policy.

A look at the list of journalists that were invited to this private session reinforces the impression that this was nothing more than business as usual.

If the President really wanted to engage more directly and more seriously, perhaps he should get out of the comfortable echo chambers of the Washington media and talk to Al Jazeera instead.